Whole Cities Foundation’s approach to community partnerships are guided by Whole Foods Market’s Community First Principles,
an expansion of the Core Value: We care about our communities and the environment.  Guided by these principles, we aim to build partnerships with community-led organizations to build thriving local food systems and grow community health.

How did these principles come about?

That starts in the great city of Detroit where the vision, heart and ethic of Whole Cities Foundation were born.

Before building in Detroit, Whole Foods Market committed to discovering how a presence there could meet the needs and reflect the desires of the people of Detroit, be respectful and responsive to local cultures, and increase access to fresh foods across all income levels.

Whole Foods Market charted this path to its first Detroit store with deep community engagement. Grassroots leaders and neighbors engaged, challenged, critiqued and inspired the project. Store staff listened, adapted, shared and evolved.

A store and the Let’s Talk Food nutrition and culinary education program emerged from the process. And, a new model for Whole Foods Market work called Community First: using a community’s best interest as the lens for looking at all major decisions made there.

The Community First process in Detroit led to the establishment of the Whole Cities Foundation. We are committed to expanding access to fresh food and healthy eating education by supporting grassroots partnerships on the local level.

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