Whole Cities Foundation (WCF) has partnered with Michele’s Granola to launch the Michele’s Granola Small Business Challenge to help build thriving local food systems.

Each $9,000 Michele’s Granola Small Business Challenge pledge will fund a Whole Cities Foundation Community First Grant (CFG). The grant program supports community-led nonprofits focused on long-term fresh, healthy food access and nutrition education to create more equitable and sustainable local food systems.

Michele’s Granola kicked off its Small Business Challenge and invites additional like-minded businesses to participate in the challenge.

Read through the sponsorship benefits, timeline and FAQ below then fill out our sponsorship form to make a pledge and a member of our team will be in touch with you about next steps.

Please contact Ashley Reinhardt, Whole Cities Foundation Development Specialist, at Ashley.Reinhardt@wholefoods.com with questions.

Sponsorship Benefits

  • A post in our WCF social channels and a logo lock up in our e-newsletter to promote your participation.
    • 4,200 Social Followers
    • 56,000 E-Newsletter Audience
  • A press release in 2023 on our 3BL page. 3BL is a media service that delivers purpose-driven communications for the world’s leading companies reaching an audience of more than 10 million through its digital distribution, leadership, and editorial platforms.
  • WCF will include an announcement on the Whole Cities Foundation homepage and relevant web pages.
  • Two-week paid social media ad promoting a Whole Cities Foundation blog post about the small business challenge and its supporters garnering approximately 500,000 impressions.



Who is Michele’s Granola?

Since 2006, Michele’s Granola has been dedicated to making small batch granola from scratch, prepared fresh daily by hand with simple natural, organic and GMO-free ingredients. The company now produces more than 35,000 pounds of granola weekly, which is distributed to over 3,500 natural food retailers, grocers and food service facilities, and is also available online and on Amazon.com. In addition to their environmentally friendly practices, including composting, recycling and powering its bakery with wind, Michele’s is committed to improving nutrition and supporting local food entrepreneurship by donating 1% of all sales to nonprofits with a food-based mission. Learn more at www.michelesgranola.com.


Who is Whole Cities Foundation?

Since 2014, when Whole Foods Market founded the organization, Whole Cities Foundation helps expand access to fresh, healthy food and nutrition education. Through a community-led process, we fund grants to nonprofits with food access projects like urban farms, mobile markets, and community gardens.


What will the funding support?

The Whole Cities Foundation Community First Grant Program.  This initiative is designed to support nonprofit organizations increasing access to fresh, healthy food and nutrition education in neighborhoods with few options engaged with Whole Foods Market (WFM) Team Members (TM) in the U.S. and Canada.  Whole Cities Foundation supports an $9,000 grant to community gardens, mobile markets, healthy cooking classes, and more.


What is the difference between long-term healthy food access and food redistribution?

Both food access and food redistribution are essential. Whole Cities’ focus is on food access. Food donations feed more people experiencing hunger today. We support organizations expanding healthy food access for the long-term (Think — a donated bag of food vs. a garden that produces for years).


How do you define “local communities”?

When we say local communities, we mean communities in all of the regions where Whole Foods Market does business. We select small nonprofit organizations that do not have a national reach and focus specifically on supporting residents where the nonprofit is based. Our Community First Grant has supported nonprofit organizations in 128 cities across the U.S. and Canada.


How do I invite other small businesses to join the challenge?

Feel free to share the following link so that they may learn about Michele’s Granola’s Small Business Challenge https://www.wholecitiesfoundation.org/small-business-challenge/.


When will you be announcing the businesses taking part in the challenge?

We will announce the partnership in Fall 2023.


Who do I contact if I have questions?

Please contact Ashley Reinhardt, Whole Cities Foundation Development Specialist, at Ashley.Reinhardt@wholefoods.com with questions.


How can my business help amplify my involvement?

Once you submit your commitment form, you will receive a social media toolkit that will include sample messaging, etc., that will help you amplify your involvement in the small business challenge. 

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