Kids' Food Basket receives state funding to help support its farms
Grand Rapids-based Kids Food Basket recently received a $100,000 grant from the state department of agriculture and development. Funds will go toward supporting both of the organization’s farms in West Michigan.
Kids' Food Basket was one of 24 producers, processors, and community development organizations from across the state to have received the” Value-Added and Regional Food System Grant.”
According to MDARD, the funds are aimed at retaining, expanding, attracting, or developing agricultural processing "through targeted investments in technology and equipment, feasibility studies, healthy food access, regional food systems, and urban agriculture."
Jason Lundberg is the manager of KFB's Our Farm. He said a majority of the grant money will go toward the purchase of farm equipment including a utility task vehicle and a dump trailer for the organization’s new farm in Holland.
Funds will also go toward a hydroponics system, tech upgrades for the Holland farm, greenhouse tables, and a water well for organization’s original farm in Grand Rapids.
“By getting a grant like this, I mean that’s a $100,000 that we don’t have to take away from our daily sack supper operations to support our farms," he said."... it's a really big help for us.”
Lundberg said the grant came with a $30,000 match that will go toward staff costs.
KFB is known for providing children in the West Michigan-area with "sack suppers" that contain fruit, vegetables, protein, and a healthy snack.
He said 98% of crops grown by KFB goes to under-resourced families in West Michigan, of that about 20-30% goes into sack suppers and the remaining 70-80% gets donated through KFB's food to pantry program.
Meanwhile, the company Michigan Farm to Freezer, also received a $100,000 grant from MDARD. The funds will be used to establish a new production facility in Grand Rapids with the aim to increase “Grown in Michigan” produce in the Great Lakes Region and beyond.