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Kellogg announces $32 million in food grants

Today, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is announcing $32.5 million in funding for nine community projects that aim to transform local food systems.

The projects include a program that brings mobile fruit stands to low-income areas of New York and an inventory of unused urban land in Boston to help expand urban farming. The money, distributed over three years, brings the Kellogg Foundation’s support for food and farming projects since the mid-1990s to nearly $80 million.

“This is a national moment where people are beginning to recognize the relationship with food and health,” said Gail Christopher, the foundation’s vice president for programs. “A lot of foundations are weighing in on obesity. We are looking at the larger system and what it means for people, especially children, to take control of their food and develop the power and capacity to make decisions about what they want to eat.”

The Kellogg grants fund a wide range of community programs. But the foundation’s focus is on children and what has shaped up as the food cause of the year: school lunch reform.

Among the grantees is the National Farm to School Network, which aims to bring fresh, locally grown produce to schools so they can offer more healthful breakfasts and lunches. Since 2007, the group has enabled nearly 5,000 schools in 42 states to begin farm-to-school programs. School Food Focus, which also will receive money, works with large, urban school districts that have large numbers of students who rely on school meals but may not have easy access to local, fresh food.

-- Jane Black

By Jane Black  |  November 16, 2009; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Food Politics  | Tags: Jane Black, nutrition, school lunch  
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This new funding couldn't come at a more critical juncture as our nation's children are overfed and undernourished. The simple tool of a schoolyard garden positively addresses six of the eight contributing factors to obesity identified by the CDC. Gardens that engage children provide better food choices, encourage physical activity, reduce sedentary behavior, and lead to healthier environments at home, at school, and in the community. Further, the CDC has singled out Farm to School as part of a community based solution to the obesity epidemic.

Kellogg Food & Community recognizes the route to a healthier America is through community-led approaches such as Farm to School.

I hope Congress will see the importance of investing in vulnerable children during the Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Learn more at

Posted by: DebraEschmeyer | November 16, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

These grants are great. And Farm to School and school lunch reform have great potential. Advocating that more fresh and healthy food be available in order to improve our society's health and wellness is a no brainer. But, achieving these goals will take much more than money and laws.

People always make the right responses on surveys, but you have to get on the ground and see the real deal. There are a number of people who wouldn't take healthy food if it were delivered free--I used to be one of them. We have to figure out how to reach these people! It will require nothing short of a revolution in the way we eat and the way food is produced.

Like all revolutuions this requires foot soldiers. Die hard volunteers who are willing to go into neighborhoods and preach the "gospel" of a healthier lifestyle. People who not only talk the talk but walk it. We need more who demonstrate this enthusiasm and are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make change happen.

Posted by: faithfulservant3 | November 16, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

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