The Newark Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant application window is open now through February 25, 2022. Locally led organizations with community-based fresh food and health initiatives are encouraged to apply for funding between $5,000 and $15,000.
Whole Cities Foundation has partnered with more than 225 nonprofits across 130 cities in the U.S. and Canada to help build thriving local food systems and grow community health. In some cities like Newark, NJ, we’ve deepened our community engagement even further.
In 2017, we launched the Newark Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant program with the help of our founder Whole Foods Market. This grant’s goal is to grow the local food system and improve community health across all five wards in Newark.
Here’s how it works: Newark-led organizations with fresh, healthy food access and community health projects are invited to apply for funding between $5,000 and $15,000. Then, we review applications with the help of the Newark Community Advisory Council, a rotating panel of eight Newark leaders. (The council’s community members have each lived and/or worked in Newark for at least two decades.) Grantees are determined by the sustainability of their projects and their alignment with our mission.
We prioritize food access work by locally driven nonprofits that reflect and engage the Newark community. Our grant partners have included community gardens, urban farms, farmers’ markets, mobile markets, healthy cooking classes, agriculture skills development programs, and other initiatives advancing healthy food access. (Check out the list of current and past grantees.)
Our objective is to champion our partners’ work without getting in their way. Our Senior Grant Programs Manager, Dianna Purcell explains, “Whole Cities Foundation believes our community partners are the experts, and we hold great respect for their knowledge, talents and agency. Through the Newark Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant program, we are able to provide responsive support which amplifies homegrown solutions.”
Project U.S.E., a three-time grantee, applied the funding towards their Pedal Farmers program, which engages young adults from Newark between the ages of 15 to 21 in urban gardening and horticulture. It provides hands-on job training, develops business and entrepreneurship skills, and creates opportunities for participating students to expand their own sense of what is possible for themselves and their community.
Amye Follett, Program Director at Project U.S.E., explains what the Newark Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant program has provided to the program and its team. “The focus of the grant in terms of community grantees and mutual support is incredibly valuable. You don’t just get a grant award but also connections, networking, and opportunities for collaboration with other amazing organizations working to tackle equitable access to healthy food and more sustainable food systems.”
Amye encourages potential grant applicants by adding, “The ability to ‘think big’ as a result of the grant is another benefit. Think about what dream projects or new innovations you would like to try for your programs or advocacy and use this grant to help support or build momentum towards the larger changes you think would be transformative.”
Since the Newark Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant program’s launch, Whole Cities Foundation has awarded more than $737,000 to 27 organizations across all five wards. This year’s grant funding concludes our six-year commitment with the Newark community and brings our total investment in the city’s health and food access initiatives to more than $1 million!
2022 Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant Is Open
We’re looking for collaborative partners in Newark with community-based fresh food and health initiatives. Ten grants will be awarded—each between $5,000 and $15,000—for a total of $150,000. Applications must be submitted online at wholecitiesfoundation.org by February 25, 2022.