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W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grants $32.5 Million to Improve Access to Fresh Food and Physical Activity for Children
Date:11/16/2009

Transforming school food high priority

BATTLE CREEK, Mich., Nov. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The W.K. Kellogg Foundation announced today it will invest $32,450,000 over the span of three years in community-driven efforts and national projects that are working to increase access to healthy food and physical activity for vulnerable children and their families.

This investment -- called Food & Community -- brings the Kellogg Foundation's total support for healthy food and farming projects since the mid-1990s to more than $230 million.

"As a foundation, we can make the greatest impact on the health of the nation by focusing on the environments where vulnerable children and families live, learn, work and play," said Gail C. Christopher, vice president for programs at the foundation.

Food & Community encourages community leaders and organizations to work together to address four priorities:

  • Transforming school food systems
  • Improving community food environments
  • Promoting active living and routine physical activity
  • Sustaining and expanding the growing national movement for healthful food and active living

Food & Community also leverages the foundation's regional and national investments -- from connecting large school districts with regional food supply networks, to linking projects of various funders to share information and tools -- to inform policy and systems change.

Nine communities that were part of the Kellogg Foundation's Food & Fitness Initiative, which began in 2007, are receiving initial funding of almost $11 million over three years from Food & Community. The following communities have spent more than two years planning and piloting local approaches to create healthier communities: Boston; Detroit; Holyoke, Mass.; New York City; Northeast Iowa; Oakland; Philadelphia; Seattle/King County; and Tohono O'odham Nation, Ariz.

These nine communities -- with active involvement from youth and residents living in neighborhoods -- created action plans that will be implemented over the next three years now as part of Food & Community. The communities are focused on policy and systems change efforts that will improve access to affordable, healthy, locally grown food, as well as opportunities for physical activity and play.

One of the efforts at the Holyoke Food & Fitness Policy Council in western Mass., for example, now has schools purchasing food from local farmers so kids will have access to fresh and nutritious food. With 15 percent of the food now purchased locally, students and teachers are learning more about how food grows, how it makes its way to school and family tables, and how it supports the local economy. Meanwhile, the Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative is developing and maintaining safe walking and biking routes to schools in rural communities.

For more information about the Kellogg Foundation's Food & Community investment, visit the program online at http://bit.ly/food_community. You can also follow Food & Community on Twitter at www.twitter.com/food_community.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, established in 1930, supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, southern Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.

SOURCE W.K. Kellogg Foundation


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SOURCE W.K. Kellogg Foundation
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