ann arbor’s fair food foundation ceases operations thanks to bernard madoff

You’ve no doubt heard by now about the the Ponzi scheme being run by former NASDAQ chairman, Bernard Madoff to the tune of $50 billion. Well, it seems as though one of the groups to fall victim to the crooked money manager was the newly launched local non-profit, the Fair Food Foundation, whose mission had been to help people in impoverished urban communities gain access to healthy, fresh food. According to Crain’s Detroit Business, the non-profit was launched with funding from Jeanne and Kenneth Levy-Church, with the promise of future contributions toward their $20 million annual operating budget — and, thanks to Bernard Madoff, the Levy-Church family no longer has money to give. So, that’s another hit to the local economy, and, more importantly, a setback for countless inner-city communities struggling to secure access to safe, healthy foods… Following is an email on the subject from Fair Food Foundation CEO, Oran B. Hesterman, that was just forwarded to me by a reader.

The Fair Food Foundation is ceasing operation as a grant making foundation.

The funds of the donors to the Foundation were managed by Bernard L. Madoff, a prominent financial advisor who was arrested for defrauding investors out of billions of dollars. Due to the loss of funding, Fair Food Foundation is no longer in a position to consider any requests for funding.

We will be spending the next few weeks closing down our operation.

Thank you for your interest in the Foundation and its mission to work with historically excluded urban communities to design a food system that upholds the fundamental right to healthy, fresh and sustainably-grown food.

And, according to the New York Times, the Fair Food Foundation wasn’t the only non-profit to fall victim.

[note: Today wasn’t a great day for food folks anyway, seeing as how Monsanto-friendly Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack was named Secretary of Agriculture.]

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  1. DanIzzo
    Posted December 16, 2008 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Wow. That’s pretty darn harsh. FFF was planning on doing a lot to bring healthy food choices to the inner city. Detroit was going to be one of their test cities, so the loss is doubly felt around here.

  2. Meta
    Posted December 17, 2008 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    More on the choice of Vilsack:

  3. Paw
    Posted December 17, 2008 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see how Madoff is any worse than the rest of the scum on Wall Street. They all deserve to be strung up, or, better yet, made to work at McDonalds for the rest of their lives.

  4. Ol' E Cross
    Posted December 18, 2008 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Although I voted for him, I have to say, even the slight possibility of Obama being a Muslim scared me.

    Muslims, if you do not know, do not eat pork. And, according to Wikipedia, pork is a major ingredient in bacon. I, like most of you, find bacon to be the primary ingredient to my Constitutional right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. America is freedom and freedom is bacon!

    With the selection of Vilsack, Obama has finally proved he is no Muslim. He has our baby’s back. Obama brings home the bacon!

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