Healthy Food Connect, a regional initiative of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, increased healthy food access for children and seniors in the seven counties of southeast Michigan.
Healthy Food Connect was a two-year initiative funded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund and the Community Foundation. Through grantmaking and a series of coordinated education and training efforts, Healthy Food Connect supported and grew exemplary existing healthy food access activities; extended the scope and geographic reach of successful programs; built on innovative activities that are testing new ideas; supported new collaborations; and provided widespread educational opportunities for organizations and, ultimately, children and seniors.
Education and Training Series
Kickoff Event (Spring 2016) – A public event to learn more about food access and Healthy Food Connect grants. Resources from this event can be found here.
Healthy Food Policy (Winter 2016) – A public discussion about engagement in food policy discussions at local, state, and national levels. Resources from this event can be found here.
Communications and storytelling (Spring 2017) – A hands-on workshop for grantees to learn and perfect communications techniques. Resources from this event can be found here.
Data Visualization and Analysis (Fall 2017) – A public lecture and hands-on classroom experience for grantees to explore data collection and use.Resources from this event can be found here.
Innovation in Food Waste Reduction (Winter 2017) – A lecture and panel discussion with experts and innovators.Resources from this event can be found here.
In August 2016, the Community Foundation made $2 million in grants to 20 programs designed to improve healthy food access for children and seniors, two groups most affected by food insecurity and the lack of healthy food.
The 20 programs funded reflect the collaborative efforts of 72 organizations across all seven counties of southeast Michigan.
SUPPORTERS AND PARTNERS
The mission of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund is to improve the health of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of health care, with special emphasis on the health and wellness of children and seniors. Proactive funding areas include behavioral health, healthy aging and nutrition and healthy lifestyles. The fund was created as part of 2013 state legislation that allowed Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to become a nonprofit mutual health insurer. The Health Fund has awarded more than $50 million in grants since its creation. Additional information about the Michigan Health Endowment Fund can be found at www.healthendowmentfund.org.
Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a full-service philanthropic organization leading the way to positive change in our region. As a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations, the Foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development and civic affairs. Since its founding in 1984, the Community Foundation has distributed more than $825 million through nearly 56,000 grants.
Michigan State University (MSU) Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) engages the people of Michigan, the United States and the world in developing regionally integrated sustainable food systems. CRFS extends MSU’s pioneering legacy of applied research, education and outreach by catalyzing collaboration and fostering innovation among the diverse range of people, processes and places involved in regional food systems. CRFS plays a key role in coordinating progress on the goals of the Michigan Good Food Charter, to assure healthy food access and increased local food commerce that provides economic and social benefits for all Michiganders. Programmatic work includes farm-to-institutions (including farm-to-school and farm-to-Pre-K), food hubs, local food councils, beginning farmers, organic agriculture and small-scale livestock supply chains.
Fair Food Network is a national nonprofit headquartered in southeast Michigan and founded on the belief that vibrant local food systems can create health and economic opportunity for all. With a diverse network of partners, the Fair Food Network pioneers solutions that support farmers, strengthen local economies and increase access to healthy food — especially in the most underserved communities. Central to their work is developing programs that create on-the-ground impact, are replicable, and inform policy change. While it is a national nonprofit, the Fair Food Network’s home state is a proving ground for innovation and provides an opportunity to knit together our efforts in healthy food incentives, fair food financing and policy change for the greatest impact. It is committed to southeast Michigan — a place with both great need and pioneering leadership in the good food movement.