LONGMONT, Colo., March 5, 2015 — In the continuing effort to improve the health of Native American children and families and boost the economic health of Native communities, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) has awarded First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) of Longmont, Colorado, a grant of $2.95 million to extend First Nations’ work in the area of Native agriculture and food systems for three years, 2015 through 2017.

First Nations will use the continuing funding to support additional projects through 2017 that advance the building and strengthening of local food-system infrastructure in Native American communities. A request-for-proposals process was recently announced for the first year of projects under the new grant. All NAFSI projects aim to enhance Native control of their local food systems – especially in addressing issues such as food insecurity, food deserts, and health and nutrition – while simultaneously bolstering much-needed economic development in those communities.

“Since the beginning, WKKF has been our key partner is this work that meets at the intersection of economic development and food systems/food security, and we thank them for their generous and continuing support,” noted Michael E. Roberts, president of First Nations. “In turn, it allows us to support tribes and Native organizations as they strengthen food systems in their communities, improve health and nutrition and build food security. We help them increase their local control over Native agriculture and food systems by providing financial and technical support, along with training materials, as they work to institute innovative ideas and best practices on a local level. The idea is to support and strengthen the food sovereignty movement in Indian Country.”

“One of the key factors in ensuring good food for all, is the democratization of the food system,” says Carla B. Thompson, vice president for program strategy at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “By creating and strengthening a network of more than 250 Native community groups to support food sovereignty efforts, this grant will help make fresh, sustainable, fair and culturally-appropriate food more accessible to 48,000 Native children and their families.”

WKKF has been a significant and longtime supporter of First Nations’ work under its Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI), including supporting the creation of NAFSI in 2002 and ever since. In 2012, WKKF provided $2.89 million to First Nations for a two-year period to support NAFSI efforts.

About First Nations Development Institute

For 35 years, using a three-pronged strategy of educating grassroots practitioners, advocating for systemic change, and capitalizing Indian communities, First Nations has been working to restore Native American control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own – be they land, human potential, cultural heritage, or natural resources – and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native American communities. First Nations serves Native American communities throughout the United States. For more information, visit www.firstnations.org.

About 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 in Mexico and Haiti.