The ten-year $1 million low-interest loan will be used by the community-driven social enterprise to create new jobs and services that meet the needs of South Central residents, including access to affordable, high-quality, culturally appropriate food. Owned by Community Services Unlimited, the center, which opened in mid-August, offers the community's first "Beyond Organic" produce market, a café serving healthy foods, a market distribution center, and a commercial kitchen, as well as a community meeting space and rental space for other community-based organizations. An urban farm that eventually provides the center's market with fresh produce and other products will be located on the building's grounds and rooftop, which also will be the site of outdoor classrooms.
WKKF's impact investing seeks to generate both social and financial returns while also advancing the foundation's efforts to ensure that all children are able to thrive. "In a fast-changing world with scarce resources and complex challenges facing children, families, and communities, it is imperative," said Cynthia Muller, director of WKKF's Mission Driven Investments unit, "that we look for additional ways to put investment capital to work for greater impact.
"Children are at the core of everything we do at the Kellogg Foundation," she added. "But we know that for children to thrive, their families need to make a living and their communities need to be places of equitable opportunity."
(Image credit: Paul Robeson Community Wellness Center)