Since 2012, Community Food Strategies has supported communities to develop and build the capacity of food councils – community groups focused on understanding their community’s food system and working with decision makers to make that system work better for their neighbors and communities.
Over the past five years, the network of local food councils in North Carolina has grown from four to over 30 active councils. As the number of councils has grown, our communities are increasing their understanding of food system realities and their ability to affect change that helps their communities. At the same time, the resource needs of councils increase with increased development. While Community Food Strategies is committed to being a resource for building alliances and offering tools, trainings and statewide structure to this network of councils, we are aware that local councils have disparate and place-based needs.
In order to build the effectiveness of the existing local food councils, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is supporting Community Food Strategies to offer micro-grants that will allow local councils to identify and acquire specific materials, trainings, and supplemental resources that are specific to each council’s current stage of development and activities.
The intent of these grants is to build the capacity of local food councils/networks individually or at a regional level. As all food councils are place-based and in different stages of development and activity, uses of micro-grant funding may vary widely based on individual food council needs.
Examples of possible micro-grant uses include:
- Supplementing or hiring staff, consultants, or interns to support local food council development and/or council operations
- Conducting strategic planning or priority setting
- Providing training for council members and/or general public on food councils, food systems, racial equity in the food system or related topics
- Funding local food council members’ attendance at various educational events, such as:
- NC Statewide or regional food council gatherings expenses
- Trainings, regional gatherings of food councils
- Site visits with local food councils in peer communities
- Educational conferences (i.e.:)
- CFSA Sustainable Agriculture Conference and/or pre-conference lay-persons policy training (reimbursement/retroactive)
- Community Based Food Systems conference
- Funding for council-led project(s):
- Conducting community food systems baseline assessments
- Hosting public forums, focus groups, candidate forums, community dinners, farm tours
- Designing/developing a logo (inquire with Community Food Strategies about affordable ways other councils have created logos if interested; write firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Creating promotional materials – brochures, postcards, signage, fliers, especially those that are re-useable
2018 Grant Cycle Timeline
- Proposals due: Monday, December 31, 2017, 5pm
- Awards announced: January 15, 2018
- Grant Period: March 2018 – February 2019
Community Food Strategies, in partnership with W.K. Kellogg Foundation, is committed to increasing the capacity of communities to reflect the voices of the most vulnerable and those most directly impacted by the challenges in the existing system. Grant awards are intended to reflect the values of Community Food Strategies project and the overall goals of this grant funding.