An investment in good food is an investment in Michigan’s future.
Michigan Good Food Fund is a $30 million public-private partnership loan fund that provides financing to good food enterprises working to increase access to affordable, healthy food in low-income and underserved communities in Michigan. This includes the range of businesses that grow, process, distribute, and sell healthy food that reaches those who need it most. We provide flexible, patient capital to good food enterprises often overlooked by traditional banks. Lending is bolstered by business assistance to help entrepreneurs grow their ventures and prepare for financing.
Since its June 2013 launch, the Michigan fund has invested more than $11 million in good food enterprises, supported 47 businesses with financing and business assistance, conducted 8 intensive workshops and webinars through programs like the “Bodega Boot Camp”, and created/retained 390 jobs across the state food value chain.
We’re on the lookout for Michigan-based food businesses that, with our support, can make a positive change in underserved communities. We evaluate businesses based on the following goals and priorities:
- Healthy food Access: Increase access to healthy food as a means to improve the health of all Michigan residents.
- Economic Development: Drive economic development and job creation to grow Michigan’s economy.
- Racial & Social Equity: Ensure equitable access to food, jobs, ownership, and flexible investment capital.
- Environmental Stewardship: Encourage sustainable environmental practices.
- Local Sourcing: Increase the sourcing and supply of locally grown and regionally produced foods.
Strengthening Michigan’s good food chain.
Unlike other healthy food financing efforts that primarily focus on retail, we are committed to supporting projects across Michigan’s food value chain including production, processing, distribution, and retail projects that increase access to “good food,” meaning food that is healthy, green, fair, and affordable. This is a first-of-its-kind effort working to create financial and social impact throughout the food value chain.
Why it matters.
More than 1.8 million Michigan residents—including 300,000 children—live in communities with limited access to the nutritious fruits and vegetables they need to thrive.
Children and families in these lower-income rural and urban areas often struggle with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other diet-related challenges. More than 30 percent Michiganders are obese—the second highest rate of obesity in the Midwest region. Communities of color are disproportionately impacted.
But it goes beyond poor health outcomes.
These same communities also often face high rates of unemployment and lack of economic opportunity, and children of color in Michigan are disproportionately poor.
And while Michigan is an agricultural powerhouse with food and agriculture contributing $101.2 billion annually to the state’s economy, the infrastructure that connects our farmers to retail opportunities—including the enterprises that distribute, process, and market fresh and healthy food —needs to be strengthened to meet the growing demand for healthy, locally grown food.
The Michigan Good Food Fund responds to these challenges with a financing opportunity.
Supported projects are increasing access to healthy food, improving the health of children and families across Michigan, and sparking economic development and job creation in the communities that need it the most.
Whether you are an investor or a good food entrepreneur, the Michigan Good Food Fund is an opportunity to help transform communities across our state into places of opportunity.