The $8.2 billion W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, Mich., committed $40 million to a philanthropic effort to assist Detroit's eventual emergence from Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection.
Community foundations and individuals in Michigan and elsewhere had previously donated or committed a total of $330 million to a fund that will go directly to lower Detroit's pension fund liabilities.
The W.K. Kellogg commitment was announced Tuesday by the leadership committee made up of the presidents of the $571 million Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Detroit; $3.3 billion Kresge Foundation, Troy, Mich.; $10.9 billion Ford Foundation, New York; and $2.2 billion John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Miami.
The foundation presidents said in their statement that the WKK donation will “help clear a pathway toward Detroit's revitalization, support the city of Detroit's pension obligations to current and retired workers and safeguard the Detroit Institute of Arts.”
“It is our urgent hope and our belief that our combined investments in the future of Detroit will help stabilize and renew the city at this critical time,” the statement added.
The combined liability for the $3.4 billion Detroit Police & Fire Retirement System and $2.77 billion Detroit General Retirement System is estimated to total $3.5 billion, according to the city's bankruptcy petition filed July 18 by Kevyn D. Orr, the state-appointed emergency manager.