Wayne State University

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Wayne State wins $25K in Ford College Community Challenge to support SEED Wayne

Wayne State wins $25K in Ford College Community Challenge to support SEED Wayne

Wayne State University has received a $25,000 grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund to help build sustainable communities through the 2013 Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3). Wayne State was one of nine winners selected for this year’s national challenge grant competition. The Ford C3 grant will support SEED Wayne projects that expand urban farming, nutrition education and fresh produce sales to underserved populations.

SEED Wayne is dedicated to building sustainable food systems on the Wayne State campus and in Detroit neighborhoods through teaching, research, community engagement and campus operations. Developing student leadership is a core objective of the program. Students initiate and implement projects in collaboration with campus and community partners.

SEED Wayne projects supported by the Ford C3 grant include a community garden in Hazel Park, nutrition education in underserved neighborhoods, a campus demonstration garden and a subsidized student produce share at the Wayne State University Farmers Market. Student groups partnering in these projects include Wayne State Student Urban Planners, Student Leaders of Urban Gardening and Sustainability, and Public Health Student Organization.

“It is an honor for SEED Wayne to be selected as a winner of the Ford College Community Challenge a second time,” said Kami Pothukuchi, director of SEED Wayne and associate professor of urban planning at Wayne State. “SEED Wayne was created in 2008 with funds from the first round of challenge grants. This grant will help engage a new generation of student leaders and expand our reach to new communities. By building much-needed organizational and community infrastructure, SEED Wayne sets the stage for projects to be sustained over the long term.”

All SEED Wayne projects serve urban, low-income groups or neighborhoods that are underserved by the mainstream economy and food system. The program’s student focus aligns with the priorities of the Ford Motor Company Fund.

“The Ford College Community Challenge is designed to leverage the talents and creativity of students to drive meaningful change in their communities,” said Mike Schmidt, director of education programs at the Ford Motor Company Fund. “We applaud these universities and colleges that are making student-led community engagement a priority.”

The 2013 Ford C3 recognized colleges and universities addressing an urgent community need related to the grant's theme: Building Sustainable Communities. Unlike many college grant programs, Ford C3 requires colleges to create proposals that have significant student input, involvement and leadership from beginning to end. Four Michigan institutions were among the winners, including Wayne State University, College for Creative Studies, Michigan State University and University of Michigan.

To learn more about SEED Wayne, visit www.clas.wayne.edu/seedwayne.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students.

Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. The Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 60 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. For more information, visit http://community.ford.com.