The Community First Grant Program supports nonprofits focused on long-term fresh, healthy food access and nutrition education that are engaged with Team Members. This includes community gardens, mobile markets, healthy cooking classes and more.
Since 2016, we have awarded 342 grants in 128 cities, investing over $2,203,000. Nearly 200 Team Members from 100 Whole Foods Market stores, 11 regional offices and our Global Support office have participated!
Check out our resources below for more info.
Explore the resources below to help you get started with your CFG nomination or find additional ways to support the program:
- Get prepared by viewing a sample Team Member nomination form here and a community partner sample application here.
- Make sure to check out the CFG FAQ here.
- When you’re ready to reach out to a potential community partner, download this email template to help start the process!
- If you’re interested in the program, but not ready to commit to nominating an organization, please consider signing up to be a peer reviewer. You can register your interest by clicking here.
We typically receive a rush of questions in the last couple days of an open window and 90% of nominations on the last day. Don’t wait! The earlier you ask your questions and start your nomination form, the less stressful the process will be.
If you have additional questions, email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out our recorded webinars below.
Watch the webinar recording to learn about the CFG program, the types of community partners and how to engage with a new potential partner.
Join the Whole Cities team for a recorded CFG Q&A.
Help spread the word about the CFG!
Download and print an 8.5″x11″ CFG poster here to hang by time clocks, in break rooms and to post in logbooks.
Download and print huddle topics:
|June 15||Team Member Nominations Close|
STL Support Form Due
|Mid-August||Eligible Orgs Invited to Apply|
|November||CFG Partners Announced|
Team Member Eligibility
To nominate a community partner, you must:
- Be a Whole Foods Market Team Member in good standing.
- Ask your STL to complete an STL Support Form by June 15. If you’re an office TM please have your Team Leader complete the form and if you’re a Facilities TM, please have your FTL complete the form.
- Be able to volunteer with your nonprofit community partner and must be done on personal time. No compensation will be provided from Whole Foods Market or Whole Cities Foundation.
- Nominate a community partner willing to complete an online Community First Grant Program Application. The application will include questions regarding the organization’s work, leadership, impact, community engagement, long-term plans, and finances.
- Nominate a community partner focused on expanding long-term fresh, healthy food access or offering healthy cooking classes. This grant will not be a good fit for food pantries, food banks, and other food donation/redistribution programs.
- Nominate a community partner primarily focused on serving adults. The Community First Grant will not be the best fit for community partners that focus primarily on children or schools. Visit our sister foundation, Whole Kids, to learn more about their grant programs.
- Be willing to submit a short mid-year and optional end-of-the-year update including a brief summary of how things are going and photos of your partnership in action.
Team Member Expectations
- Submit one required update (optional end-of-the-year update) including a brief summary of how things are going and photos of your partnership in action.
- Volunteer once per quarter from August 2023 through July 2024 – From monthly days in a community garden to hosting a mobile market team in your store to talk about merchandising, this can take any shape that works for your partner and your store and keeps everyone safe in the process.
- Update your STL and Culture Champion Ambassador at least once per quarter.
- Read monthly CFG updates (optional webinars).
Community Partner Eligibility
- Projects that will broaden long-term access to fresh, healthy food and/or nutrition education. The Community First Grant will not be a good fit for food pantries, food banks, and other food donation/redistribution programs. Learn more about our grants and what we fund/don’t fund here.
- US: Must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit and organizations partnered with a 501(c)3 nonprofit.
Canada: Must be a Registered Charity or partnered with a Registered Charity.
- Locally led organizations (Not all Team Members, board members, and volunteers must be residents of the community served, but robust community representation is important.).
- Organizations with strong community engagement that request and use feedback from their community.
- Programs focused on serving adults and/or older youth (ages 16-22). The Community First Grant will not be the best fit for community partners that focus primarily on children or schools. Visit our sister foundation, Whole Kids, to learn more about their grant programs.
Community Partner Expectations
- Complete a grant application. The application will include questions regarding the organization’s work, leadership, impact, community engagement, long-term plans, and finances.
- Submit one required final report (optional mid-year report).
- Allow the nominating WFM Team Member (and perhaps other WFM Team Members) to volunteer at least once per quarter between August-July.
Check out our latest blog post featuring James Clancy, an Associate Store Team Leader at the WFM store in Hingham, Massachusetts and Jimmy Jaime, an e-Commerce Associate Team Leader at the WFM Winter Park store in Florida.