Good Food Battle Creek

Supporting Agents of Change

As in many cities across the U.S., there are communities in Battle Creek, MI that lack access to healthy food and suffer from food injustice. Fair Food Network is working side by side with concerned citizens and groups in the city who are taking actions to stem the gaps in the food system and effect positive change.

The Situation

  • Battle Creek’s population as of the last census is 52,347.
  • In 2009, 16.2% of Michigan’s population lived below the poverty; in Battle Creek the rate of those living below the poverty rate was 22.4%.
  • In Battle Creek, many residents live in areas with limited or no access to nutritious food options.

The Opportunity

To assist residents and organizations of Battle Creek to organize around common goals for the community’s well-being, Good Food Battle Creek (GFBC) was formed to facilitate sharing and collaboration between those groups. GFBC has members from all segments of the food system community, from traditional social justice organizations to urban and traditional farmers to food safety experts.  FFN is assisting GFBC in promoting healthy food choices through education, support of local producers, and access to good food for all people.

The organizations collaborating through GFBC include: 

Green Fist

Green Fist Summer Program Participants

Through multiple initiatives, FFN is seeking to facilitate a wide range of activities with the following objectives:

  • Administer a small grants program aimed at providing financial support for the food systems work taking place in the community.
  • Provide networking, collaboration, capacity building, and leadership development opportunities for GFBC’s members working to advance the food justice agenda.
  • Facilitate GFBC obtaining a comprehensive picture of the strengths and opportunities present in the community’s food system.
  • Assess, articulate, and make available best practices for a food justice agenda.

Our Progress

To date, GFBC has:Burmese Gardens

  • Undertaken a comprehensive community food assessment that is scheduled to be completed in Spring 2012.
  • Provided financial support to community efforts focused on empowering citizens to make improvements in their food system ranging from community garden projects and youth summer employment opportunities in the healthy food arena.
  • Hosted film nights and other eduational sharing events where residents have the opportunity to view documentaries about the food system and learn more about the fair food movement.
  • Networked and exchanged ideas with others involved in food system/food justice work both locally and nationally.
  • Developed a communication strategy aimed at encouraging citizens to become active participants in improving the quality and fairness of their food system while getting the word out about Good Food BC’s activities.

Fair Food Network is proud to be working with GFBC and looks forward to an exciting opportunity to work in collaboration with the community to effect meaningful and lasting change in the local food system. 

And the work continues.