The Community First Grant Program is a new Whole Cities Foundation initiative designed to support Team Members who are actively engaged with community partners that increase fresh, healthy food access in neighborhoods with few options.
To download this FAQ page, click here.
To download a one-pager about the program, click here.
To watch a short video about the program, click here.
The program has a simple two-step application process:
Whole Cities Foundation will offer support and resources to selected Team Members and will provide grants ranging from $5,000-$15,000 to their qualified community partners.
April 20: Team Member Community First Application opens
June 1: Team Member Application and STL Support Form due
July 1: Notification sent to Team Member applicants
Team Members will be notified if their application has been selected.
If selected, your community partner will complete a Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant Application. To see examples of qualified community partners click here.
Aug 15: Community partner Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant Application due
This application will include questions regarding the community partner’s mission, programs, leadership, impact, community engagement, sustainability, and finances. Before you select a community partner, please see examples of qualified community partners by clicking here.
Sept 30: Notification sent to community partner applicants
Community partners will be notified if they qualify for a grant. Team Member applicants will receive notification if their community partners have been approved.
All of the eligibility requirements can be found at the beginning of the Team Member application they include:
We have seen amazing results when Team Members work collectively with community partners. Only one Team Member needs to complete the application, however, projects are more successful when multiple people are involved. It is important that Team Members are not pressured into volunteering and that they understand that WFM and WCF will not provide compensation for the time they spend volunteering.
No. We do not award grants to individuals. However, a nonprofit organization led by a Team Member would be eligible to apply for funding.
WCF can only award grants to qualified 501c3 nonprofit organizations. However, if an exceptional and innovative organization is connected to a fiscal agent that has 501c3 status, there are options we can consider.
In this case, fill out the Community First Application and type “looking for community partner” in the “Community Partner’s Name” field. Please tell us about the kind of community partner you are looking for in the field “Please briefly describe your community partner's mission, project activities and goals.” WCF may be able to offer support with finding a good fit.
If your application is selected, Whole Cities will work with you to find a community partner who will be a good fit for your passion and Whole Cities’ mission.
A community partner is a nonprofit organization that is led by community members in your city. A community partner understands the assets, needs, and goals of local residents and uses this knowledge to direct and shape its work. For examples of qualified community partners, click here.
Projects thrive when multiple Team Members are engaged. Your STL or Team Leader needs to be aware and supportive of you involving other interested Team Members in your community partner’s project. It is important that Team Members are not pressured into volunteering and understand that WFM and WCF will not compensate for volunteer time.
Unfortunately, no. This opportunity is only available in the United States at this time.
Yes! We welcome applications from all Team Members located in the US who meet the eligibility requirements. If you do not work in a store, please have your team leader complete the STL Support Form.