Announcement, Press Release

$1.2 Million Investment Brings Two Nonprofits to Kansas City to Address Food Security

Oct 30, 2023

Kansas City

National nonprofit and funder with local focus, GreenLight Fund, announces grant recipients mRelief and Food Connect

Kansas City, MO – October 30, 2023 – GreenLight Fund Kansas City announced today a $1.2 million investment spread over four years to bring nonprofit solutions mRelief and Food Connect to the Kansas City region, addressing food security through responsive approaches to dignified food access. The two organizations have already begun work in Kansas City.

mRelief uses technology to remove traditional barriers in the Supplemental Nutrition Access Program (SNAP) application process so that families that qualify for assistance receive it. Food Connect’s logistics expertise and tech platform helps existing community organizations increase the impact of their food security work. Together, these investments will support an equitable food system in Kansas City and ensure more families have access to healthy food.

“More than 180,000 Kansas Citians are food insecure, including a disproportionate number of Black and Brown families. We heard directly from residents that grocery store costs and changes to SNAP benefits are impacting reliable access to healthy food,” said Sarah Courtney Haberberger, Executive Director of GreenLight Fund Kansas City. “Food is a human right and we’re thrilled to invest in two distinct, but complementary solutions in mRelief and Food Connect.”

GreenLight led a year-long process in partnership with community members and their Selection Advisory Council to identify opportunities for strategic investment in support of inclusive prosperity.  Food security was elevated as a priority need by both residents and community organizations in Kansas City.  After searching the country, GreenLight identified mRelief and Food Connect as complementary solutions to a complex food system – supporting families’ ability to access and make choices about food today and sustainably.

GreenLight’s model, funded by a coalition of 50+ local investors, selects and invests in one proven organization each year. The complementary nature of the two finalist organizations made implementing both in Kansas City an opportunity to add significant capacity to the system at a much needed time. The ability to invest in both organizations simultaneously was generously made possible by GreenLight founding investors, David and Tracy Lockton.

“We’ve seen firsthand how GreenLight’s community-driven process identifies the solutions that are the most needed and the best fit for our community,” said David and Tracy Lockton. “Food security is a cause we are passionate about and we’re proud to help bring in two impactful solutions.”

“Social factors like food security are key to supporting community members’ overall health and prosperity,” said Andrea Perdomo Morales, Chief Health Equity Officer at Vibrant Health and Selection Advisory Council Member. “GreenLight’s process revealed critical opportunities to support families’ access to food now and in the future with responsive investments rooted in community desire.”


mRelief started in Chicago in 2014 and has helped 2.7 million people access $1 billion in SNAP benefits in fifteen states across the country. mRelief simplifies the SNAP enrollment process by eliminating optional questions from state applications, offering mobile-friendly applications, providing eligibility screening and offering application guidance in person or on the phone. According to mRelief, $8.4 million in SNAP benefits go unclaimed each year in Kansas City. mRelief projects they will connect 20,000 Kansas Citians to SNAP benefits over the next four years, unlocking nearly $15 million in benefits to the region and has already begun work in Kansas City, Kansas with local partner Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas.

“Every day, mRelief hears back from SNAP applicants who thank us for helping them put food on the table and making the process user-friendly and shame-free,” said Porschia Davis, Interim Executive Director at mRelief. “We’re so excited to partner with GreenLight Fund and the vibrant network of advocates in Kansas City to address hunger with dignity.”

Food Connect

Founded in Philadelphia, Food Connect uses technology and logistics expertise to bridge community food system gaps, partnering with local food and hunger organizations to provide equitable food rescue and redistribution, delivering food affordably and reliably and designing food programs that improve health outcomes. Their hunger relief tech solution is now a network of more than 1,300 partners across six states delivering 200,000 last mile meals monthly. In partnership with organizations like KC Food Hub and Vibrant Health, Food Connect will reach 70,000 Kansas Citians over four years through a combination of food rescue, meal delivery and food programming.

“We are so grateful to GreenLight Fund and the Lockton Family for their trust and support in Food Connect,” said Megha Kulshreshtha, CEO of Food Connect. “Food Connect is thrilled to join hands with the vibrant community of Kansas City in our mission to ensure reliable and nourishing food access for all.”

mRelief and Food Connect have launched searches for local leaders and will build local advisory councils made up of community, nonprofit and business leaders. GreenLight Fund Kansas City will be an active and strategic local partner to mRelief and Food Connect, supporting local hiring, serving on the advisory boards, advising on strategic planning and connecting the organizations to community partners and funders.

mRelief and Food Connect are GreenLight Fund Kansas City’s fourth and fifth investments, joining Becoming a Man, Working on Womanhood, and All Our Kin.