Good Food Funding Guide

We created the Good Food Funding Guide listing sources of grants, loans, and equity for businesses and programs promoting sustainable food and agriculture and local economies. It is arranged alphabetically into four sections: Government Grants, Private Grants, Loans, and Equity. Refer to our article “Good Food Funding Guide” for information about choosing sources of capital for your project. If you have suggestions for adding to or editing this list, please let us know by completing this form. Thank you!

 

Government Grants Primary Focus Description Application Timing / Notes
Community Facility Grants Economic Development Provides grants to assist in the development of essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population. Rolling application. Also offers loans guarantee programs and can combine grants and loans
Community Food Projects (CFPCGP) Food Access / Insecurity Funds projects that are designed to increase food security in communities by bringing the whole food system together to assess strengths, establish linkages, and create systems that improve the self-reliance of community members over their food needs. Proposals Due in October; Funding requires a 100% match
Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) Agriculture, local food A competitive program that supports the development of new tools, approaches, practices, and technologies to further natural resource conservation on private lands. Some states have expanded this to include assistance for communities and groups to build and strengthen local food projects that provide healthy food and economic opportunities. Varies by state
Department of Health and Human Services Economic Development The Administration for Children & Families (ACF) promotes the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals and communities. Check their website for opportunities which are posted throughout the year. Nothing open at this time
Economic Development Administration Economic Development The Economic Development Administration (EDA) has programs to support construction or upgrade of public facilities, planning, technical assistance for economic development, and more. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the pandemic. Rolling Application
Farm to School Grant Program Local Food Support for planning, developing, and implementing farm-to-school programs. Tentative Due Date for 2023: January. 25% match required
Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) Local Food Funds programs that increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets. Apply in May for September funds. 25% match required
Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) Agriculture Funds project with one-to-one dollar match to assist in exploring new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products, and to encourage research and innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the marketing system Funding requires a match
Food and Agriculture Service Learning Local Food, Education To increase the knowledge of agricultural science and improve the nutritional health of children. The program’s goal is to increase the capacity for food, garden, and nutrition education within host organizations or entities, such as school cafeterias and classrooms, while fostering higher levels of community engagement between farms and school systems by bringing together stakeholders from distinct parts of the food system. Tentative Due Date for 2023: January
Local Food Promotion Program (Implementation Grants) Local Food Implementation Grants are used to establish a new local and regional food business enterprise, or to improve or expand an existing local or regional food business enterprise Apply in May for September funds. 25% match required
Local Food Promotion Program (Planning Grants) Local Food Funds the development and expansion of local and regional food business enterprises to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets. Planning grants used in the planning stages of establishing or expanding a local and regional food business enterprise. Activities can include but are not limited to market research, feasibility studies, and business planning. Apply in May for September funds. 25% match required
Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program Meat  Processing Intended to help eligible processors expand their capacity. USDA Rural Development designed the MPPEP to encourage competition and sustainable growth in the U.S. meat processing. Tentative Due Date for 2023: May
Regional Food System Partnerships Agriculture, Collaboration Supports partnerships that connect public and private resources to plan and develop local or regional food systems. Apply in May for September funds. 25% match required
Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) Economic Development Funds programs that are designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas. Varies by state
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Agriculture Funds qualified small businesses to support high-quality research related to important scientific problems and opportunities in agriculture that could lead to significant public benefits. Phase 1: October

Phase 2: May (tentative)

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) Agriculture Funds projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Specialty crops are fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture). Application due in November for following year
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Agriculture Funds programs that advance sustainable innovations in American agriculture. SARE is uniquely grassroots, administered by four regional offices guided by administrative councils of local experts. Funding covers the following the types of projects 1) Research & Education ($10K – $20K), 2) Professional Development ($20K – $120K), and 3) Produce Grants ($1K – $15K). Varies by region. Four regions: North Central, Southern, Western and North East
Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Grant Urban Agriculture Expand efforts of farmers, gardeners, citizens, government officials, schools, and other stakeholders in urban areas and suburbs. Projects may target areas of food access; education; business and start-up costs for new farmers; and development of policies related to zoning and other needs of urban production. Tentative Due Date for 2023: August
Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) Economic Development The VAPG program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to bio-based value-added products’ processing and/or marketing. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income are the end goals of this program. Proposals are due in April. 50% match required
Nonprofit & Foundation Grants Primary Focus Description Application Timing / Notes
Ben & Jerry’s Foundation Varies Supports small, grass-roots organizations with an annual budget under $500,000, focusing on community and root cause issues. October & February
Cedar Tree Foundation Varies Funds projects focusing on children’s health, regenerative grazing, fracking & energy extraction issues, and amplifying youth voices about the environment. Varies. Grants are sometimes region-specific
Chef Ann School Chef Ann Foundation is dedicated to promoting whole-ingredient, scratch-cooking in schools. Programs provide school districts with grant funds, salad bars, assessments, professional development, and free tools and resources. Check website for programs and deadlines
Clarence E Heller Foundation Health The mission of the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation is to promote the long-term good health and viability of communities and regions. Focus areas include protecting the environment, regional planning, and sustainability in agriculture and food systems. February 1, 2023
Cliff Family Foundation Food Systems Funding priorities: Strengthen our food system; Enhance equitable community health outcomes; Safeguard our environment and natural resources.

 

February 1, June 1, or October 1
Food and Farm Communications Communica-tions The Core Grants Program awards targeted communications support to community-based nonprofit organizations and grassroots networks working to advance systemic and cultural change across our food and farm systems. Focus is on building power and shifting narratives, and to support organizations vested in the long view, with equity and resilience as central pillars of their vision. Reopens January 2023
Healthy Food Financing Initiative Food Access / Insecurity HFFI offers financial assistance to help healthy food retailers overcome higher costs and initial barriers to entry in underserved areas across the country. Focuses on projects that increase access to healthy fresh food for low-income and under-served populations. July
Kresge Foundation Health Kresge supports equity-focused systems of health that create opportunities for all people to achieve well-being. Application timing varies. Also visit Social Investing for partnership opportunities.
Michael & Susan Dell Foundation Food Access / Insecurity The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is dedicated to transforming the lives of children living in urban poverty through improving their education, health and family economic stability. Rolling
Organic Valley Organic Farming Grants are awarded to research, education and advocacy projects that advance Farmers Advocating for Organic’s mission: to protect and promote the organic industry and the livelihood of organic farmers. Varies (two deadlines a year)
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Pioneering Ideas: Exploring the Future to Build a Culture of Health seeks proposals that are primed to influence health equity in the future of food. June
Simply Organic Giving Fund Food Access Support for organizations that provide people access to healthy, organic food options. Sept 30, 2022
Wells Fargo Economic Development Wells Fargo supports organizations that work to strengthen communities through projects that keep communities strong, diverse, and vibrant. Priority is given to programs and organizations whose chief purpose is to benefit low- and moderate-income individuals and families. Rolling. Giving priorities vary by state.
Wholesome Wave Foundation Food Access / Insecurity Wholesome Wave empowers underserved consumers to make better food choices by increasing affordable access to healthy produce. Rolling application. Apply to become a network member for matching funds.
Buillitt Foundation (Pacific Northwest) Environment, Food Access Regional Ecosystem Health; Energy, Climate and Materials; Deep Green Buildings; and, Resilient Cities, Healthy Communities. March 15; September 15
Claneil Foundation
(New England, Mid-Atlantic)
Health, Local Food Located in the Philadelphia region, Claneil seeks to improve the health of families and communities through efforts that address the intersection of food, health, and the environment. The Foundation provides general operating and program support grants locally, innovative food waste solutions, and awards seed funding to early-stage social entrepreneurs that have the potential for significant impact in the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions. December. Multiple-grant funding programs.
Harris & Francis Block Foundation  (Vermont, North Carolina, Virginia, and New York) Food & Farm Initiatives Priorities: Farm and Garden Programs; Farmworker’s Rights; Food Justice

 

Rolling Deadline
Merck Family Foundation   (Varies- Northeast/ Southeast regions) Urban Farming, Environment Restore and protect the natural environment and ensure a healthy planet for generations to come; Strengthen the social fabric and the physical landscape of the urban community. January 11; July 12
W.K. Kellogg Foundation (Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, New Orleans, Indigenous Populations) Health, Access Support families and communities in creating conditions in which all children can thrive and generate both social and financial returns. Specifically projects that increase access to healthy food in under-resourced communities and grow an equitable, healthy food economy by providing support to local food businesses across the value food chain Rolling
Loans Primary Focus Description Notes
7(a) Loan Program, SBA Varies The program provides new and growing businesses with loans of up to $5 million with an SBA guaranty of 75% to 85%. Loans may be used to purchase equipment, inventory, fixtures, leasehold improvements, working capital, debt refinancing for compelling reasons, change of ownership. Loans ≥$5,000,000
ACCION Varies ACCION provides financing and business education to small businesses across the country. They offer loans of up to $15,000 for start-up businesses and $25,000 for established businesses. They also offer Credit Builder loans between $200 and $2,500. Loans ≥$25,000
Certified Development Company (504) Loan Program, SBA Varies The program provides growing businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing for major fixed assets, such as land and buildings. 504 Loans are typically structured with SBA providing 40% of the total project costs, a participating lender covering up to 50% of the total project costs, and the borrower contribution 10% of the project costs.
Community Development Finance Institute Economic Development 1) Allocate New Market Tax Credits to financial institutes used to incentivize community development and economic growth through the use of tax credits that attract private investment to distressed communities; 2) Healthy Food Financing Initiative – Financial Assistance awards are also offered for CDFIs that are interested in expanding their healthy food financing activities; 3) Native Initiatives program creates jobs, builds businesses, and fosters economic self-determination in Native Communities nationwide Visit website to see current CDFI awardees for potential partners and funding opportunities
Community Facilities Direct and Guaranteed Loans Economic Development Provides loans and loan guarantees to assist in the development of essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population.
Equity Trust Fund Local Food The Equity Trust Fund is a revolving loan fund that makes low-interest loans to community supported agriculture (CSA) farmers, cooperatives, community land trusts, conservation land trusts, and other nonprofit organizations that protect community access to land or affordable housing, or support community-controlled, sustainable economic development for low income communities. Loans from $5,000 to $150,000
Farm Storage Facility Loan Program Agriculture The Farm Storage Facility Loan Program (FSFL) provides low-interest financing so producers can build or upgrade facilities to store commodities. Loans ≥$500,000
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Economic Development Healthy Food Projects Loans: Available for nonprofit and for-profit operators of healthy food businesses including retail food stores, farmers markets, food coops and other healthy food production or distribution activities. Nonprofit and for-profit development organizations providing space for healthy food operations can also apply. Priority to projects in LISC sites
Reinvestment Fund Local Food Healthy Food Financing Initiative: Public-Private partnership with USDA Rural Development offers to finance healthy food retail projects.
RSF Social Investment Fund Economic Development RSF provides loans to social enterprises that have impact across the food and agriculture supply chain and enable local economies to flourish. Loans from $50,000 to $400,000
Slow Money Local Food The Slow Money Institute catalyzes the formation of self-organizing local groups, which use a diversity of approaches: public meetings, on-farm events, pitch fests, peer-to-peer loans, investment clubs and, most recently, nonprofit clubs making 0% loans. 0% interest loans administered on a regional basis.
Whole Foods Local Producer Loan Program Local Food Providing up to $10 million in low-interest loans to independent local farmers and food artisans. Loans from $10,000 to $100,000 ($25 million total loan fund)
Equity Primary Focus Description Notes
2X Partners Varies Invests in emerging consumer products businesses capable of growing exponentially via an infusion of capital and operational expertise.
Advantage Capital Varies Offers financing and investment options to established and emerging companies located in communities underserved by conventional sources of capital. Specializes in small business.
Armonia LLC Agriculture Investment firm providing long-term investments in companies and projects that promote regenerative practices in agriculture, finance, and business.
CircleUp Growth Partners Varies Early stage consumer fund with a data-driven, scalable approach to investing in visionary founders. Look for innovative brands that are creating new categories or disrupting existing markets.
Closed Loop Capital Agriculture, Local Food Early stage venture capital fund platform investing in agriculture technologies and food system innovations.
Cultivian Sandbox Food & Agriculture Fund Agriculture Cultivian Sandbox is a venture capital firm focused on building next-generation food and agriculture technology companies capable of generating superior returns.
Fair Food Fund
(Northeast)
Local Food Early stage investment for entrepreneurs who are growing community health and wealth through food. Also provides wrap-around business assistance alongside investment.
Golden Seeds Varies Angel network that invests in high-potential, women-led businesses that create lasting impact. Average first round investment: $250,000 to $2,000,000
Good Food Accelerator Local Food Accelerator for food entrepreneurs to expand the production, marketing and distribution of locally and responsibly produced food, in order to enhance the social, economic and environmental health of our communities. Fellowship Program
Greenmont Capital Partners Varies Greenmont makes impact investments in high growth consumer products that align with the Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability market.
Mission Point Partners Varies Impact investment management firm focused on solving large-scale environmental problems through the deployment of high impact capital.
New Ground Ventures Varies High impact venture capital investing in pioneering entrepreneurs and impactful businesses.
RSF Social Finance Varies. Local Food Provides social enterprises with integrated capital- the coordinated use of different forms of financial capital and non-financial resources to support the enterprise’s work to solve complex social and environmental problems. Also offer food system loans and small seed grants
S2G Ventures Agriculture, Local Food Seed to Growth: Multi-stage food and agriculture venture fund investing in entrepreneurs whose products and services meet the shifting demands for healthy and sustainable food.
SJF Ventures Varies Provides venture financing for companies in the cleantech, consumer brand, business services, and Web-enhanced services markets.
Slow Money Local Food A non-profit organization dedicated to catalyzing the flow of capital to local food systems, connecting investors to the places where they live and promoting new principles of fiduciary responsibility that “bring money back down to earth.”
Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Economic Development The Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program works with private investment funds licensed as SBICs to provide growth capital to U.S. small businesses. Although SBICs regulated by SBA, they are private, profit-seeking investment companies that make independent investment decisions. This directory will provide you with the contact information needed to learn more about the SBIC Licensees in your state. See link for participating institutions. Average investment from $100,000 to $5,000,0000
Social Venture Circle Varies Early stage impact investing network dedicated to improving the environment, education, health, and community.
Social Venture Partners Varies Provides investment funds to nonprofit organizations so they can increase their social and environmental impact.
Talgra Investments
(New York)
Agriculture Talgra is a firm catalyzing investment in sustainable and equity organizations through consulting and its own investments. It often invests in solar and food projects. Sustainable agriculture and energy projects for farms are areas of particular importance.
Whaleback Partners
(New England)
Agriculture Provides cost-effective capital, in the form of loans and investments, to farms and businesses (includes distribution, infrastructure, and cooperatives).
Zenfinity Capital Varies Private investment firm committed to identifying, financing, and developing businesses led by promising entrepreneurs and operators. Focus on “good for you” businesses. Average investment from $100,000 to $30 million

Updated September 2022

 Whatcom County Food System Plan

The Whatcom County Food System Committee recently conducted a community food assessment that pointed to key opportunities to build a more robust and resilient regional food system. New Venture Advisors will partner with Whatcom County staff and the Food System Committee to draft a Whatcom County Food System Plan that builds upon these findings. This Plan will focus on six sectors of the food system including fishing, farming, labor, food access, environment, and waste, and will be informed by an inclusive and equitable community engagement process.  The Food System Plan will provide the county with a policy roadmap that will strengthen the local food system for years to come. (2022)

 Whatcom Local Food Campus

The Whatcom Community Foundation invests in activities and organizations that improve the ability of people to help themselves, increase connections among people, and take cooperative approaches to community issues. WCF is exploring the development of a local food campus on a waterfront property that would become a multi-tenant site, anchored by a school district commissary. The goal is to strengthen Whatcom County’s local food system by promoting health equity, forging tangible strategic connections between food production organizations, and helping farmers connect with institutional markets. NVA developed the business case for this ambitious project and continues to support its development. (2022)