FFN’s Small Grants Program Supports GFBC

Author: Meredith Freeman, Program Director

For the second year, Fair Food Network has administered a small grants program to support projects and programs of the Good Food Battle Creek collaborative (GFBC). With funds from the WK Kellogg Foundation, FFN awarded more than $130,000 in grants to support a variety of GFBC projects.

Most notably, the GFBC collaborative received more than $60,000 to support the hiring of a local Program Coordinator who will manage day-to-day programmatic activities and implement a strategic communications and marketing plan. Other projects include urban agriculture internships for youth, entrepreneurship education, and fresh produce distribution to underserved residents. A complete summary of the grants and projects are below:

Battle Creek Urban League – Good Food BC Program Coordinator and Marketing/Communications Support
Grant Amount- $64,260

BCUL will serve as the fiduciary for the new GFBC Program Coordinator. The Coordinator is responsible for administrative and programmatic support for a number of initiatives developed and implemented by GFBC. The Coordinator will also implement a strategic marketing and communications plan using traditional and new media strategies to inform the greater Battle Creek community about the local good food movement.

Food Bank of South Central Michigan- Growing Hope- Garden in a Bucket and Fresh Food Initiative (FFI)
Grant Amount- $5,000

The purpose of the Growing Hope – Garden in a Bucket project is to provide fresh produce for households with limited access to fresh food or who do not have access to land for their own garden. The 5 – gallon bucket gardens were distributed to FBSCM’s Fresh Food Initiative (FFI) sites in Battle Creek, primarily serving low- income families with children.

Sprout Urban FarmsSprout Urban Farms- Greenfist Youth Program/ Bright Star Farm
Grant Amount – $55,000

Sprout hired 20 youth interns for summer 2012 to develop an urban farm and learn about food justice. The Greenfist interns planted and harvested produce at three locations: Bright Star Farm, a two- acre urban farm in one of the largest food deserts in Battle Creek; Leila Arboretum’s Greenhouse which has over 1500 sq. ft. of indoor growing space for seedlings, early summer crops, and composting education; and Green Gardens Farm, a local 10-acre farm with a well established CSA. Interns also implemented a “bike to market” program and sold produce to local restaurants and corner stores.

Generation E Institute
Grant Amount- $6,400

Generation E provides entrepreneurship education for youth and their families. Generation E will partner with Sprout Urban Farms this fall to offer entrepreneurship instruction, information about entrepreneurial opportunities, and business development support. Additional activities include food preparation demonstrations, proper food handling, and methods to preserve foods.

Grow GettersFremont Tomato Heads- Grow Getters Youth Program
Grant Amount- $3,000

Grow Getters is a youth gardening program that was launched in the summer of 2011. Grow Getters started as a neighborhood gardening program that expanded to include Battle Creek Public Schools summer school students. Partnering with the Mylestone Project, the program provides gardening instruction, cooking classes, and field trips to area farms and farmers markets for at-risk youth.