The Kellogg Foundation, founded in 1930 by Kellogg Company CEO Will Keith Kellogg, focuses on issues relating to child development, primarily in Haiti, Mexico, the U.S., Brazil and southern Africa. Within the U.S., the foundation concentrates on Michigan, New Orleans, New Mexico and Mississippi.

“Concentrating our resources on early childhood (prenatal to age 8), within the context of families and communities, offers the best opportunity to dramatically reduce the vulnerability caused by poverty and racial inequity over time,” states the foundation’s website.

To achieve this, the Kellogg Foundation focuses on the following three strategic goals:

Educated Kids: Increasing the number of children who are proficient in reading and math by third grade.

Healthy Kids: Increasing the number of children born at healthy birth weight and who receive the care and healthy food they need for optimal development.

Secure Families: Increasing the number of children and families living at least 200 percent above the poverty level.

Embedded in these goals are a commitment to civic and community engagement and racial equity. The foundation considers these elements to be essential if communities are to create conditions under which all children can thrive.

Under the rubric of Educated Kids, the Kellogg Foundation seeks to increase the support and training that educators receive in a bid to enhance their leadership skills and professional development and ultimately improve the quality of both teaching and learning.

In the category of Healthy Kids, the foundation focuses its grants on efforts to improve the health of mothers and families, increase breastfeeding rates, provide community-based oral health care and transform food systems.

And to ensure Secure Families, the Kellogg Foundation assists families with their financial and employment prospects, helping them to increase their economic and social mobility. “We help make connections to financial resources and job skills training, so that families can be debt-free, pay their bills and feel empowered to help their children succeed,” says the foundation’s website.

The foundation also stands for racial equity and social justice, seeking to stamp out structural racism: “Far too many children of color live in racially isolated neighborhoods in metropolitan areas, and in segregated rural and tribal communities across the United States,” the foundation says.

NonProfit Quarterly notes that efforts to change structural racism can be difficult for foundations to achieve: “It is easier to find and fund the mentoring and leadership development programs which, in many cases, are hardly new, than to pinpoint how to effectuate changes in institutional and public policies that sustain these structural inequities.”

In spite of these challenges, the Kellogg Foundation continues to work on improving the health and development of children around the world and in the U.S. as well as enhancing communities and striving for racial equity.

Mayra Vega

Sources: WKKF, Nonprofit Quarterly
Photo: Flickr