Posted on February 13, 2020 by Sustainable Food News

Whole Foods nonprofit spends over $300k on local food systems

Whole Cities Foundation aims to improve community health by boosting access to fresh, nutritious foods

Whole Cities Foundation (WCF), a nonprofit started by Whole Foods Market, said Wednesday it will spend $315,000 on 60 grant awards to community groups to improve access to fresh food and nutrition education.

Through its Community First Grant Program, WCF supports community gardens, urban farms, pop-up produce stands, agriculture skills development, farmers markets, mobile markets, healthy cooking classes and other community-directed initiatives.

The grant program is designed to support Whole Foods employees working with nonprofits in their areas. The employees build relationships with the grant recipients through volunteer opportunities and additional support for the groups’ goals.

WCF, founded in 2014, the 60 grants of $5,000 each will be awarded to nonprofits in the United States and, for the first time, Canada, where the Public Health Association of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C., will use the funding for its Can You Dig It community gardens program.

Learn about the 60 nonprofit grantees here. Projects from this year’s grant partners include:

  • 16 community gardens
  • 14 urban farms
  • 9 agricultural skills development programs
  • 5 mobile markets
  • 5 healthy cooking programs
  • 6 SNAP and WIC incentive programs
  • 2 healthy, affordable restaurants
  • 2 farmers markets
  • 1 pop-up market

Since launching the Community First Grant Program in 2016, WCF has awarded 186 grants in 100 cities for a total of $940,000.

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