Kate Krause on Fair Food Network’s return to Detroit

Kate Krause moved into the CEO role of Fair Food Network in January as part of an internal succession, seven years after coming to Michigan to serve as the organization’s COO. A native of Ohio (she kept quiet while working in Ann Arbor), she began her career at ABC News, working on “Nightline” for five years before diving into the nonprofit sector, the Nature Conservancy and her I got a role in Slow Food USA. New York, where she was managing director.

On the Fair Food Network, Krauss, 47, said that for programs such as the signature “Double Your Food Back” program that matches SNAP profits spent on fruit and vegetables at markets and grocery stores. Leading advocacy for increased funding of the Farm Bill to broadly expand the federal dollar to Implemented with other private and public funds and replicated in 28 states.

You actually started your career at one of the national television news networks, right? How did you get into food systems?

I started my career in TV journalism for ABC News, working for “Nightline” over 20 years ago with Ted Coppell. I was there during a really difficult conversation with 911 and anthrax. I really wanted to. One of my last jobs was to care for and feed the people being interviewed. I got to know them and had an amazing skill set of spending time chatting with them. I did. And that was my transition.

What are you focusing on in your first year as CEO?

We have made many advocates for nutrition security in the Farm Bill Guide and are working to expand the law. This will result in 10 times more resources being devoted to incentive programs such as healthy food access programs and double food backs. Country. Today, Double Up Food Bucks is an approximately $10 million program in Michigan. We can help ten times her family in Michigan bring home more fruits and vegetables. It is also economic development for local retailers and support for participating local farmers. By expanding Double Up across Michigan, we’re helping families, helping retailers, and helping farmers.

What else are you working on?

We will reopen the Michigan Good Food Fund this fall. It has existed since 2015. What we’ve done in the last two years is redesigning it to be more community-centric and more focused on bringing money from the sidelines to food entrepreneurs. By focusing on health food, I realized that the business that was not offered was very extensive. Previous versions focused on access to healthy foods. It is now a larger definition that extends to wealth creation and economic development as indicators of health.

Beyond the fund, isn’t the Fair Food Network supporting food entrepreneurs themselves?

yes. We are the administrative backbone of the Michigan Good Food Fund, but we also have our own fundraising arm and we are transitioning that fundraising arm to help all of our fundraising partners across the state get more money. is actually trying to be a catalyst for The number of food entrepreneurs who are changing and increasing wealth in their communities. What sets us apart is our guarantees, equity deals, and grants to help our lending partners build capital stacks that make it easier for them to provide loans to food entrepreneurs. Currently, that’s about $500,000 to $1 million a year. We can raise money, so we want to grow it.

You recently moved the headquarters of the Fair Food Network from Ann Arbor to Detroit. why does that make sense?

We started Double Up Food Bucks in Detroit in 2009 and Detroit has always been a priority location for us. Many of our leading programmatic partners are here. The number of staff actually based in Detroit has also increased considerably during the pandemic. Perhaps one of the reasons is that they recruited staff from across the state because they don’t have to come to Ann Arbor and it’s virtual. Many of our staff were excited and interested in having our headquarters in Detroit. And it coincided with my desire to get a little closer to my partner.

Do you have any unusual hobbies?

One may be less surprising than the other, but I love to bake sourdough bread, ferment through it, and use emmer wheat and various types of bread native to different places. It has become a traditional grain such as wheat. There is an amazing community around it. Another hobby has nothing to do with food. I am a bridge player. That’s another one that has an interesting community. There are many more people my age who are interested in cards.

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