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Grants to British Columbia Nonprofits to Increase Access to Healthy and Sustainable Food

Sustainable Food Systems Grants

City of Vancouver

Agency: Local

GrantWatch ID #138418

Grant Description

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Grants to British Columbia nonprofit organizations for programs and services that increase access to food, promote inclusion and participation in food production and distribution, and build sustainable food systems in eligible regions. First-time applicants must contact program staff prior to submitting an application. Eligible programs benefit residents in the City of Vancouver.

The Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) Grant is a funding stream supporting neighborhood and community-scale efforts that facilitate community connectedness and catalyze action, knowledge, and skill-building on food system issues. 

The SFS Grant funds work that:

  • Supports the principles, goals, and actions outlined in the Vancouver Food Strategy 2013 and 2017, and aims to address issues such as food access, diversity of voices and inclusion, and resilience
  • Supports organizations that build coalitions of community members and organizations, agencies, or businesses with the aim of working collaboratively to achieve food systems goals
  • Addresses systemic barriers to community access of healthy, affordable, and culturally diverse food for residents
  • Promotes inclusion, participation, celebration, skill-building, or community capacity-building
  • Operates at the neighborhood or community scale

SFS Grants provide funding that addresses inequity and mitigates conditions that create barriers to equity and food security for residents of Vancouver. Grants may fund the direct delivery of food-based programming and services to individual residents, or fund activities that support coordination with other non-profits to deliver food programming. Priority consideration is given to services or programs that:

  • Align with the Social Policy Grants Statement of Intent;
  • Reinforce or support the goals of the Healthy City Strategy with a specific focus on the following goals:
    • 3 – Feeding Ourselves Well
    • 4 – Healthy Human Services
    • 5 – Making Ends Meet and Working Well
    • 6 – Being and Feeling Safe and Included
    • 7 – Cultivating Connections
    • 13 – Collaborative Leadership for a Healthy City for All;
  • Have a primary function to enhance the community’s capacity, skills, knowledge and/or provide supports to address systemic barriers to food security and access;
  • Have a primary focus on residents who are experiencing social, physical, and/or economic disadvantages and/or who face discrimination;
  • Use a community development approach, which empowers and involves equity denied populations in solving social problems, bringing about positive social change, and extending participatory democracy.

Given the wide variety of project or program types that could potentially be supported by Sustainable Food Systems Grants, the grant program does not specify a set goal or benchmark for the number of individuals to be served by the program. However, applicants must demonstrate that the number or proportion of people involved is large enough that there is a noteworthy impact on the community.

Changes in 2022: Grant funding will be unrestricted except for the restrictions noted above (see Ineligible Programs and Program Expenses in Additional Eligibility Criteria, below). Applicants are still required to submit a program-specific budget(s). This change allows applicant organization that as a whole might be considered ineligible (e.g. meal programs), but they are operating a program that may be eligible (e.g. community kitchens and food growing workshops).

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Additional Eligibility Criteria:

An organization must:
- Be a registered non-profit society, community service co-op or social enterprise wholly owned by a non-profit and in good standing with the Registrar of Companies; OR, be a registered charity, in good standing with the Canadian Revenue Agency; OR, be a First Nations Band;
o Please note that if you are not registered as one of the above you may partner with a fiscal sponsor that is a registered non-profit society or registered charity in order to meet this requirement.
- Demonstrate accommodation, welcomeness and openness to people of all ages, abilities, sexual orientation, gender identities (including trans*, gender-variant and two-spirit people), ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, religions, languages, under-represented communities and socio-economic conditions in its policies, practices and programs, except in instances where the exclusion of some group is required for another group to be effectively targeted;
- Have an independent, active governing body composed of volunteers. The bylaws must have provisions that no staff member can be a voting member of the board or executive;
- Be in compliance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the British Columbia Human Rights Code;
- Have the demonstrated functional capacity and sufficient resources to deliver the programs or work to which the City is being asked to contribute; and,
- Deliver the funded program in Vancouver to Vancouver residents or to Vancouver based non-profits.

For ineligible work and program expenses, see:

Pre-Application Information:

Applications will now be accepted twice per year: spring and fall intakes.

- Applications open: Tuesday, March 15, 2022
- Application deadline: Friday, April 22, 2022 at 4:30 pm
- Staff Review: May - June
- Recommendations to Council: July 2022
- First Payments Released: End of July/Early August 2022

Applications will be submitted online: printed copies or emailed applications will no longer be accepted.

All new applicants are asked to contact a grants planner to discuss applications prior to submission. Applicants that were not successful in the previous year are also asked to contact a grants planner if you are considering applying again. This short phone call will ensure applicants are eligible and will be an opportunity to walk through the process, provide tips and answer questions.

Application Help Guide:

Term of Contract:

Term: Summer 2022 to 2025

Contact Information:


Application Assistance:

Social Policy Grants

City Hall
453 West 12th Ave
Vancouver, BC
V5Y 1V4

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