First-of-its-kind Fund Launches to Support Good Food for All

Detroit Food & Fitness Collaborative members and friends, and others who care about access to good food in Detroit, are welcome to join a launch event for the Michigan Good Food Fund. It will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Monday, June 22, at Shed Five in Eastern Market, 2934 Russell St., Detroit. RSVP here.

The inauguration of the fund is aptly ties in with recommendations in the Economic Analysis of Detroit’s Food System, published by DFFC last fall, particularly those related to further developing a growing local food ecosystem in the city and increasing localization.

This is part one of a two-part series about the fund.

In a first of its kind approach to increase access to healthy food while driving economic development, the Michigan Good Food Fund launched this week. The fund is a new public-private partnership loan and grant fund created to address the lack of healthy food access in rural and urban communities alike by supporting good food entrepreneurs across the state.

While Michigan is the second most agriculturally diverse state in the nation, with food and agriculture contributing $101.2 billion annually to the state’s economy, more than 1.8 million Michigan residents—including 300,000 children—live in lower-income communities with limited healthy food access. The lack of access to affordable and nutritious food has serious implications for the health of our children and families—more than 30 percent of Michiganders are obese, the second highest rate of obesity in the Midwest region. Communities of color are disproportionately impacted.

Along with the Michigan Good Food Fund boosting accessible healthy food to everyone in Michigan, especially vulnerable communities, it will also create opportunities for food entrepreneurs, harnessing capital and growing strong, local economies.

Created by a coalition of food sector, nonprofit, higher education, government and philanthropic partners, the fund provides financial capital and business assistance to businesses that grow, distribute and sell fresh and healthy food that reaches low-income populations. This effort will increase access to healthy food, improve the health of all Michigan residents, and drive economic development and job creation.

Fair Food Network and Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems will co-lead business assistance and pipeline development for the fund. Other core partners include the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and fund manager Capital Impact Partners.

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