13 food councils receive micro-grants in 2018

Photo above: Greater High Point Food Alliance hosted the first Food Youth Summit in 2017 for more than 140 kids from seven different organizations, participating in urban gardening, nutrition, and exercises activities and discussions on hunger.

Congratulations are in order!….

This fall, for the first time, Community Food Strategies was able to offer micro-grants to local food councils in our network, thanks to our funding partners at the W.K.Kellogg Foundation. We received 19 great applications and 13 councils were awarded micro-grant funds ranging from $500 – $4000, and totaling $35,000 to support projects, programming and capacity building for these community groups.

Grant funds were allocated in alignment with these goals:

  • Deepen the leadership capacity of food council members
  • Expand the demographic diversity among food council leadership and membership to more fully represent the demographics of the community the council is accountable to [county, city, region]
  • Strengthen the network of local food councils across NC
  • Support shared measurement of food council impacts
  • Train food council/engaged community members in civic engagement, racial equity frameworks, and food systems leadership
  • Increase food sovereignty across NC communities, especially and foremost, those communities that are most affected by the existing challenges in the food system.
Local Food Images

The Cape Fear Food Council will use their grant to create a local food guide.

And the projects funded include trainings for food council and community members in racial equity, policy and civic engagement, and community listening and decision making; community events including listening sessions and networking events; production of local food guides; hosting of farm and roadside stand tours; and developing baseline food system assessments in several communities.

We are excited to both support and learn from each of these projects and look forward to sharing the connections, models, and practices each council creates through these place-based efforts. Watch for highlights of these food council awardees and the learnings that come from them this year.  If your council is interested in applying for the Community Food Strategies micro-grants, we will be opening the next grant cycle in Quarter 3 of 2018.  We hope you apply!

Again congratulations to all of the following grantees!  We look forward to your success stories.

2018 Micro-Grant Awardees:  

Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council will build capacity and community  leadership through clear pathways for organizations to inform the council’s priorities, training opportunities to inspire local food systems collaboration, and initial assessment research. [$4000]

Capital Area Food Network (CAFN) will develop The Senior Voices project. It will use powerful imagery and interview-style storytelling to reveal the struggles of an often-ignored segment of the population, highlight the history of injustice in rural and urban Wake County, advocate for solutions to senior hunger, and connect CAFN directly to the food insecure community. [$3000]

The Cape Fear Food Council will develop a local foods guide for New Hanover and surrounding counties to provide the public with information about where to source local foods and why doing so is important. [$1500]


The Charlotte Mecklenberg Food Policy Council hosted a food advocacy training in 2017 for 50+ community members and leaders. This year’s micro-grant will build on that training.

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Food Policy Council’s micro-grant will support a strategic workshop to bring together a variety of organizations, community leaders, and individuals to discuss Charlotte area food policy collaboration. This workshop will work with participants to identify specific policy and advocacy issues, strategize and plan approaches, and set a timeline for accomplishing community specific goals. [$2500]

Davidson County Local Food Network plans to increase the council’s visibility and relevance to help potential stakeholders and residents understand the role of a food council in promoting the production and demand for locally produced food. The micro-grant will also increase understanding of and collect community asset data to set metrics from which we can set realistic measurements of improvement or diminishment, particularly in addressing food access issues in communities of color. [$4000]

The Gaston County Food Council will conduct a Gaston County food assessment.  They plan to use the assessment process to engage diverse stakeholders and establish food council goals. [$4000]

The Guilford Food Council seeks funding to build our capacity across Greensboro and Guilford County by improving our communication materials and strategic outreach. In doing so, we hope to create a platform for sharing information about local food efforts and strengthen relationships across our communities. [$1500] *After grant applications were submitted, this council began re-assessing best ways to leverage their council members’ time and energy to engage and partner in their community. After grant awards were offered, Guilford Food Council declined the funding for this grant cycle in order to focus more specifically on possible restructuring to better reach and engage the community they represent.

Greater High Point Food Alliance will bring the community together in a Food Security Summit to discuss the issue of food security and strategies for alleviating hunger in the greater High Point community. [$2500]

Just Foods Collaborative will mature its structural capacity through a series of leadership engagement events and activities for members (local food economy tours, community gatherings, meet and greet events) with the ultimate aim of improving the culture of health across the Twin Counties by increasing access to affordable, healthy eating options and strengthening food value chains [$500]

Orange County Food Council will work with community organizers and professional race equity facilitators to increase access and inclusion on the Food Council’s workgroups and develop a method for tracking equity in the Food Council’s action plan. [$4000]

ScotLAND Grows will bring to the forefront local fresh food options and sources to the attention of community members and businesses, through a farm tour, local food pairing events, and development of a variety of educational resources to supplement those Community Allies already have in place [local food purchasing guide; conference scholarship for a young farmer] [$4000]

Toe River Food Security Network (TRFSN)– plans to deepen the leadership capacity within the Toe River Food Security Network by adding to and diversifying the leadership of the Steering Committee. Strategies will prioritize racial and economic equity and collaborative governance in the leadership of TRFSN and the Network as a whole. [$1500] *We were happy to be able to redirect Guilford County’s award funding to this strong Toe River Food Security Network proposal.

The Warren County Foods Promotion Council’s micro-grant goal is to increase public awareness of the council and to promote more community engagement.  They plan to host a public forum to communicate their work and assess the needs of farmers, citizens, and county officials regarding future work. The funds will also be used to develop promotional materials. [$3000]

Watauga Food Council will host networking events to bring new members to the table. The funding will be used to develop a welcome packet for community and council members. The welcome packet will clearly share the council’s purpose, vision, and activities. [$500]


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