Michigan Good Food Fund Celebrates Inaugural Seed Award Winners

March 18, 2024


Michigan Good Food Fund Celebrates Inaugural Seed Award Winners 

Detroit, Mich., March 18, 2024 – Michigan Good Food Fund is happy to announce the recipients of its inaugural Seed Awards, recognizing Michigan-based food and farm businesses making an impact in their communities. With a focus on promoting racial equity, enhancing healthy food access, fostering job creation, and embracing resilient climate practices, the Seed Awards are a cornerstone of the Michigan Good Food Fund’s commitment to supporting local food and farm entrepreneurs. 

From a pool of 338 submissions, eleven businesses were selected to receive seed funding totaling almost $150,000. These grants represent not just financial investment but a recognition of these businesses’ vital role in advancing Michigan’s food value chain. The selection committee prioritized BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) and women-owned companies, underscoring the collaborative’s dedication to fostering equity within Michigan’s food value chain.  

The Seed Award winners were chosen by a committee comprising Michigan Good Food Fund Stakeholder Board members, including Daniel Cornelius, Jerry Ann Hebron, Aaron Jackson, Ana Jose, Jamie Rahrig, Tony Vu, and Adrienne Wolf. Their decisions were guided by the proposed utilization of funds and the alignment of businesses with key performance targets related to food value chain representation, race, gender, stage of business, and geographical impact. 

“In our inaugural year of the Seed Awards, we were overwhelmed by the quality of submissions we received,” said Aaron Jackson, Director of Michigan Good Food Fund at Fair Food Network. “It’s a testament to the incredible talent and innovation within Michigan’s food and farm sector. The selected businesses truly embody the mission of the Michigan Good Food Fund, and we are excited to see the positive impact they will have on their communities.” 

The winners of the inaugural Seed Awards are: 

The total awarded amount of $148,569 was distributed strategically across various regions of Michigan, with $52,569 allocated in Southeast Michigan, $34,500 in West Michigan, $30,000 in Northern Michigan, $17,500 in Southwest Michigan, and $14,000 in South Central Michigan.  

“We’re so excited to support this initial group of businesses. They are all poised for great impact in our food communities across the state and we can’t wait to see what’s next,” commented Tony Vu, Michigan Good Food Fund Stakeholder Board Chair. 

The Seed Awards represent just one facet of the Michigan Good Food Fund’s comprehensive approach to fostering a more equitable and sustainable food system. Through continued collaboration and investment, the Michigan Good Food Fund aims to support Michigan’s food and farm entrepreneurs in driving positive change in their communities and beyond. The Michigan Good Food Fund will announce information about an additional round of Seed Awards later this year. 

For media inquiries, email media@fairfoodnetwork.org or call 734.213.3999 x221.

About Michigan Good Food Fund 
Michigan Good Food Fund invests in food and farm entrepreneurs across the state, offering flexible financing and tailored business assistance that supports vibrant, equitable communities. We meet entrepreneurs where they are, connect them with what they need, and build long-term relationships that help their businesses thrive. As we work toward a more resilient, inclusive food industry, we focus on entrepreneurs whose access to power and capital has been historically limited because of their race, ethnicity, and/or gender. Our efforts are guided by the shared vision of our Stakeholder Board, a diverse group of entrepreneurs, farmers, funders, and policymakers with deep roots in Michigan.