Growing Power awarded $5 million grant to grow community food projects across U.S.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation to fund “community food centers”
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Leana Nakielski, Growing Power
Rebecca Noricks, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Sept 8, 2012
MILWAUKEE—Growing Power, a pioneer nonprofit in modern urban agriculture, today announced a five-year, $5 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to develop and grow operations across the nation that will produce fresh, locally-grown food, train new farmers, and provide healthy produce for children and families in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.
The “community food centers” are located in Detroit, New Orleans, Taos, N.M. and in the Mississippi delta region of Arkansas and Mississippi.
“Growing Power will help these local community food centers build organizational strength through strategic planning, leadership development, infrastructural development, financial sustainability guidance, anti-racism education and promoting networking opportunities,” said Growing Power CEO Will Allen.
Growing Power’s own Community Food Center and production farms in Milwaukee are producing more than a million pounds of food annually. The urban farm center supports fifteen hoop-houses for year-round production of plants and vegetables, more than 100,000 fish, and a livestock inventory of chickens, goats, honeybees and millions of worms in a space no larger than a small supermarket.
The food centers in other communities will not be replicas of Growing Power’s operation, but will instead be tailored by locals to fit the needs, resources, history and culture of each community.
“Traditional and cultural practices have much to share with the world in our common goal of sustainability,” said Pati Martinson, co-director of the Taos County Economic Development Corporation, a Growing Power grant partner in northern New Mexico working on food security, land tenure, water rights and other issues.
Since the grant work began several months ago, “We have learned a great deal about composting, hoop-house construction and other skills,” said Malik Yakini, chairman of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network. “Our affiliation with Growing Power is particularly rewarding because we share the same commitment to access to good food and justice for all within the food system.”