W.K. Kellogg Foundation supports FoodLab Detroit’s mission toward a more equitable food economy in the city

DETROIT, MI | FoodLab Detroit announces a $100,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) to support FoodLab’s ongoing work to grow local food businesses and entrepreneurs in Detroit and southeast Michigan.

FoodLab is a member-based network of over 145 food distribution, processing, and retail businesses committed to growing triple-bottom line food businesses. In addition to providing technical assistance and skills training for individual businesses, FoodLab works to engage a community of entrepreneurs, partners, and allies to build a Detroit food system that is more equitable, sustainable, and committed to community growth. 

Support from the Kellogg Foundation will help FoodLab improve business support services and grow opportunities for member businesses and new entrepreneurs.  

Key projects include:

  • Supporting 20 new food entrepreneurs through the our annual FoodLab BASE, a 12-week training and business development series;
  • Expanding and defining our 3D business learning curriculum for scaffolded learning opportunities throughout the year;
  • Growing FoodLab Council, a confidential platform for more advanced businesses experiencing challenges to get support from peers and industry experts;
  • Building diverse, participatory leadership on the Steering Committee to support the development of improved member perks and benefits; and
  • Deepening engagement and relationships with members in a second annual racial equity and justice training in January 2016.

Ali Webb, WKKF Director of Michigan Programs, said, “More than 59% of Detroit children live in poverty, according to national Kids Count data. Our support of FoodLab Detroit works to ensure the number of workers with children who attain or retain permanent jobs increases, allowing parents to provide for and support their families.”

A 2012 study funded by WKKF highlights a gap between public policy and public desire within the national food system. Working in that gap, FoodLab facilitates collective decision-making to design practical, useful support services for a good food economy and specifically for the women- and minority-owned businesses that constitute the majority of FoodLab’s membership.

“There is a tremendous amount of value in local ownership,” said Devita Davison, Co-Director and Chief Cultivator at FoodLab. “We ask the question ‘what could entrepreneurship look like if you have people of all colors and backgrounds at the table?’ to guide our work toward a food economy that is diverse, sustainable, and, above all, equitable.”

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org. 

FoodLab Detroit
FoodLab is a community of food entrepreneurs committed to making the possibility of good food in Detroit a sustainable reality. We design, build, and maintain systems to grow a diverse ecosystem of triple-bottom-line food businesses as part of a good food movement that is accountable to all Detroiters. To learn more, visit www.foodlabdetroit.com.