News And Events

Jun 16 2009 12:00AM

Carlos Santana’s Milagro Foundation Helps Support Low-Income Communities In Their Development Of Health and Nutrition For Children

In February of this year, Carlos Santana’s Milagro Foundation received a three-year grant of $720k from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan, "to support low-income communities in their development of healthy alternatives for children in the areas of food, nutrition and health." W.K. Kellogg Foundation Program Officer Ricardo Salvador first contacted the Milagro Foundation Executive Director Shelley Brown last fall to offer funding. When asked what attracted Salvador to the Milagro Foundation, he cited the foundations' shared commitment to supporting under-served children and Milagro’s “impressive history of serving children directly” and “ability to get into the trenches” as key determinants of why it is a perfect recipient of the funds.

With these funds, the Milagro Foundation will support programs serving some of the most vulnerable children in the United States. Milagro staff has sought out communities and community stakeholders who are undertaking a comprehensive approach to ensuring their children thrive by increasing access to Good Food -- food that is simultaneously healthy, green, fair and affordable, as defined by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation -- while also supporting nutrition education and fitness.

The Milagro Foundation has been hands-on in the development of a local community project in Marin City, a community in Marin County, California that is 94% low income. This community has been without a grocery store or market for years. The Marin Farmer's Market is currently in negotiations with the Gateway shopping center to provide healthy food access and micro businesses by starting a Marin City Farmer’s Market in the spring. In addition, the development of a nutrition and health curriculum in the schools and the establishment of school gardens to support the curriculum is underway with the collaboration of Marin City agencies.

Other funding priorities include the still devastated New Orleans/Gulf Coast region, and American Indian communities. Some of the deepest pockets of childhood hunger and nutrition-related health problems in the country exist among American Indians residing on rural reservations.

Over the next three years and following months of research, site visits and community meetings, Carlos Santana’s Milagro Foundation has chosen the recipients of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation funds and will begin the first year’s grant cycle this month. The following projects will be funded:

1. New Orleans Edible Schoolyard at Samuel Green Charter School: $50,000 The mission of ESY NOLA is to integrate organic gardening and seasonal cooking into the curriculum, culture and food programs of Green Charter School. ESY NOLA provides students with engaging hands-on learning experiences through weekly garden and kitchen classes, and school-wide seasonal events that promote the local food traditions of New Orleans. The goals of this program include teaching students life skills in the garden and kitchen; an appreciation of and stewardship for the natural world; and exposing students and their families to fresh, local fruits and vegetables with a direct focus on increasing their access to healthy foods at school and in the larger community.

2. New Orleans Sankofa Market Place, Ninth Ward: $20,000 Project Ujamaa will provide year-round, monthly activities designed to increase access to and foster an appreciation for good food among more than 300 underserved children in New Orleans, 7-14 years old, and their families. The multilayered activities will include providing “Vegetable Vouchers” to program participants, allowing them to meet urban farmers, listen to presentations from nutritionists, make their own healthy recipes and items to sell at the market, and develop skits, poems and songs that address the importance of healthful eating.

3. New Mexico: Johns Hopkins Center for American Health $65,000 Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health seeks to partner with the Milagro Foundation to create an innovative culturally-based nutrition promotion program with the most underserved and nutritionally at risk children in America, American Indians. The program will engage Native community stakeholders in three southwestern reservation communities to promote school, family and community-based programming to teach children and families to grow, eat and distribute healthy foods. Outreach and support of local farmers will augment program success and strengthen local healthy foods systems. Local tribal stakeholders will ensure core curriculum and program activities are centered in indigenous cultural wisdom and strength. The project will develop over three years, and include sustainability and dissemination planning to compound Milagro’s investment in this work.

4. Marin City, CA: Intergenerational School Garden and Nutrition program: $65,000 Through a partnership with the Milagro Foundation, Sausalito/Marin City school district will partner with Marin Department of Public Health Nutrition Wellness Program, Marin Farmers Markets, Conservation Corps of North Bay, Marin City Health & Wellness Clinic, Marin City Network and Trips for Kids, to support the development of healthy alternatives and education for children in the areas of food, nutrition, fitness and overall health. This proposal is about supporting Marin City's children and their families who need and deserve access to healthy foods, fitness education and other resources that the greater Marin Community can collectively offer. The project is designed to bring together community partners who will contribute to a unique nutrition education program in which the schools will host and integrate a school garden along with an inter-generational after-school element. It also integrates a Farmer's Market and a strong community partnership component that will increase the connection with and access to healthy foods and physical activity.

The Milagro Foundation was established by Carlos Santana and his family in 1998. With funds generated by concert tickets and generous individual and corporate donors, Milagro benefits underserved and vulnerable children around the world by making grants to community-based organizations that work with children in the areas of education, health and the arts. Milagro means “miracle.” The image of children as divine miracles of light and hope, even as gifts to our lives, is the meaning of the name.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930. The organization supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

For further information, please visit the Kellogg Foundation website at or the Milagro Foundation website at Media Contacts: Michael Jensen or Erin Podbereski, Jensen Communications, 626-585-9575 or Milagro Foundation Information Contacts: Shelley Brown, Milagro Foundation, Executive Director Ruthie Moutafian, Milagro Foundation, Program Associate Lindsey Ford, Milagro Foundation Consultant, W.K. Kellogg Project 415-460-9939

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