Our friends at Michele’s Granola are helping to build thriving local food systems. Together, we’re helping to expand access to fresh, healthy food through a variety of initiatives including the launch of Michele’s Granola Small Business Challenge.

Recognized for its small batch granola made from scratch, Michele’s Granola donates one percent of all sales to support programming addressing racial and cultural inequities in the food system through its Give One for Good Food® program. Since 2012, Michele’s Granola has donated more than $250,000 to help nourish and unite people with nutritious, fresh, locally grown food.

“At Michele’s Granola, we believe that everyone deserves good food and that business can be a powerful source for positive social change,” said Michele Tsucalas, Founder and Owner. “We put our belief into action by sponsoring a Whole Cities Foundation Community First Grant. Now, we are challenging fellow small businesses in our industry to match our efforts and participate in creating resilient local food economies.”

Small Business Challenge

Each $8,000 Michele’s Granola Small Business Challenge pledge will fund our Community First Grant. The grant program supports community-led nonprofits focused on long-term fresh, healthy food access and nutrition education to create more equitable and sustainable local food systems. Michele’s Granola kicked off its Small Business Challenge by sponsoring an $8,000 grant and inviting 10 additional like-minded businesses to participate in the challenge by March 31, 2022.

Whole Foods Market Team Members nominate locally led organizations for an $8,000 Community First Grant and commit to volunteering with the grantee during the grant year. Since we launched the grant program in 2016, we have awarded 224 grants in over 100 cities across the U.S. (and one in Canada) investing a total of $1,262,000. Projects from past grant recipients have included community gardens, urban farms, mobile markets, agricultural skills development programs, healthy cooking classes and other initiatives advancing healthy food access. 

“Growing community health needs to be a collaborative effort, so relationships have always been at the heart of the Community First Grant program,” said Dianna Purcell, our Senior Grant Programs Manager. “The Michele’s Granola Small Business Challenge unites purpose-driven organizations that share a goal of improving long-term access to fresh, healthy food. Together, we can strengthen locally led efforts and solutions that advance community health.”


Local Leaders

Michele’s Granola also has made a 3-year $30,000  commitment to our Local Leaders Pilot Grant, which aims to amplify the efforts of community thought leaders and organizers dedicated to expanding access to healthy food and nutrition education. This grant is offered by invitation only to a select number of nonprofit organizations in the U.S. with a desire to share their innovations, learnings and best practices with a wider audience.


Look for In-Store Signs

In addition to providing support for the Community First Grant and Local Leaders Pilot Grant programs, from October 6 to November 2, 2021, $0.20 from each sale of Michele’s Granola products in all U.S Whole Foods Market stores will be donated to our foundation, up to $12,000. This contribution will help us continue to champion locally led projects that transform community health.

Look for these signs in the aisle when making your Michele’s Granola purchase in-store at Whole Foods Market:

For more information on the Michele’s Granola Small Business Challenge including a FAQ and sponsorship benefits, visit wholecitiesfoundation.org/small-business-challenge.

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