Whole Cities is awarding 10 community-directed organizations an average of $19,895 each to advance community health through our Newark Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant. It’s a $198,950 investment in locally led initiatives that spans all five wards in Newark, New Jersey! 

We’re on a mission to improve neighborhood health through collaborative partnerships, nutrition education, and broader access to fresh, healthy food. We understand that no one knows the barriers to individual and community health, the solutions that are most effective, or the support that is needed to implement these ideas better than those who live it every day. So, we champion locally led, locally supported, and often overlooked organizations that are spearheading homegrown solutions.  

Giving One Tenth Community Garden

We started the Newark Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant program in 2017 to advance the city’s long-term healthy food access solutions and nutrition education. Since then, we have awarded more than $1 million to 34 locally led organizations throughout Newark’s five wards. We’ve also provided financial backing for additional opportunities shaped by the goals and requests of our grant partners.  

Grantees are determined by the sustainability of their projects and their alignment with our mission. Previous grant partners have included community gardens, urban farms, farmers’ markets, mobile markets, healthy cooking classes, nutrition education programs, agriculture-skills development programs, and a SNAP incentive project.  

Recently, we’ve also seen our community partners focus on additional programming to support residents’ health. Our Director of Programs Dianna Purcell explains, “From mobile farm stands to CSA boxes, our partners are meeting community members where they are and offering a variety of activities, such as free health screenings and cooking demonstrations, to build on their fresh, healthy food access work.” 


This year, the following 10 Newark organizations were awarded a Newark Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant: 

Giving One Tenth Community Garden 

Greater Newark Conservancy Inc

Ironbound Community Corporation

Kids in Business

Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District

Newark Science and Sustainability, Inc. 

Project U.S.E. 


Ubuntu Permaculture Mission Inc. 

Urban League of Essex County 


Greater Newark Conservancy

This marks the sixth Newark Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant for Greater Newark Conservancy, which fosters community collaboration at the intersection of environmental, food, and racial justice to promote the health and wellbeing of Newark residents. Brian Morrell, their Director of Development, explains the impact of funding from our project, “With Whole Cities’ support, we have been able to update our infrastructure, allowing us to facilitate and augment our onsite food production. Recent funding enabled us to expand our outreach into more areas of the city. Now, we will be collaborating with community gardens and urban farms across Newark, helping to strengthen their operations and marketing to city neighborhoods.” 

Whole Cities’ approach respects locals as leaders and co-creators, so we review grant applications in conjunction with the Newark Community Advisory Council. This panel of engaged Newark leaders have lived and/or worked in Newark for an average of 24 years. (Get to know this year’s panel.)  

Chesha Hodge

Chesha Hodge, a new addition to the Newark Community Advisory Council, shares her experience by explaining, “Reviewing Whole Cities grants was more than just an opportunity to read individual and organizational inspirations. This was an intricate review of the blueprint that launches steadfast initiatives that fuel Newarkers every day. As a reviewer, I experienced an opportunity to be inspired!”  

Are you also inspired to grow the local food system and improve community health in Newark? 

Learn more about our Newark Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant program, including a list of past grant partners. The next grant application window will open in early 2025.  

More images

Connect with us

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Social Links