Funding Opportunity:
Funding Opportunity: Improving Community Food Systems
Focus Area:
Strengthen community health

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This funding opportunity will support a nine-month planning process for a new or existing coalition of partners to develop implementation plans to address one or both of the following Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger goals:

  • Goal 2: Increase the number of Coloradans who can access affordable, nutritious food in their communities
  • Goal 3: Increase the number of Coloradans who can access food assistance and nutritious food through community-based organizations

Grant funding is available for up to $85,000.

The nine-month planning process should be used to establish or strengthen collaboration among partners and develop a community-driven or community-informed implementation plan that focuses on improving community food systems to increase access to affordable and nutritious food for those with the highest risk of food insecurity. The plan must describe how partners will increase food access through implementation of measurable strategies. Grantees approved for this funding opportunity will have access to technical assistance to support their efforts during the planning process.

Grantees that develop strong implementation plans may be eligible to apply for implementation funding. Implementation funding is not guaranteed and will be a separate, competitive process.

Proposed programs and/or projects must reflect the Foundation’s cornerstones, as our work is grounded in serving Coloradans who have low income and historically have had less power or privilege, putting the creation of health equity at the center of everything we do, and being informed by the community and those we exist to serve.

Have questions? We’re here to talk through your ideas and encourage you to connect with us before applying for funding. If you’re not already connected with a program officer, please reach out to us by email or phone at 303-953-3600.

Grant Deadline: Not accepting applications. This work is in progress.


Organizations eligible to apply include those that:

Currently operate as a Colorado-based 501(c)(3) organization or public agency (school district or state/local government) with experience working to improve access to affordable, nutritious food.

Coalitions must:

  • Address either or both Blueprint goals
  • Focus on a neighborhood, city or region in Colorado
  • Include a minimum of four partners representing various segments of the community (e.g. food policy councils, food providers and feeding sites, public health/nutrition providers, educational institutions and agriculture extensions, government agencies, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, food recovery organizations, food chain worker/labor organizations/associations/unions and agriculture organizations)
  • Ensure that individuals with the lived experience of food insecurity are active participants in the coalition, the assessment of the food environment and prioritization of strategies
  • Focus on addressing the needs of communities in our state with the highest risk of food insecurity including those with a high percentage of low-income residents, rural areas or communities of color

Deliverables expected by the end of the nine-month grant period include:

  1. A coalition that is prepared to implement the identified strategies from either or both of Blueprint goals
  2. An implementation plan that includes, at a minimum:
  • Assessment of the food environment
  • Selected goal(s) and associated strategies from the Blueprint
  • Timeline of activities for each selected strategy
  • A description of coalition partners, their roles and commitments, including how those most impacted by food insecurity will be engaged throughout the project
  • Evaluation plan, including metrics that will be tracked to determine progress and success

Applications should include the following information:

  • List of coalition partners, including the segment of the community each represents
  • How those with lived experience of food insecurity will be engaged
  • Whether the coalition is new or existing (if new, describe any coalition-building experience; if existing, describe any accomplishments to date)
  • A description of the selected community (geographic boundaries and demographic details)
  • Specific health inequities that will be addressed
  • Barriers and opportunities to accessing affordable, nutritious food in the selected community
  • How the current availability of affordable, nutritious food in the community would be assessed through a planning process

We often partner with third-party evaluators, contractors and other organizations over the course of our work with applicants and grantees. Your application and its attachments may be shared with these individuals or entities during the review process and grant cycle. All third-party organizations partnering with the Foundation have signed a confidentiality agreement and will not use or share the information for purposes outside of the scope of work specific to the grant application or grant award. If you have any concerns or would like additional information, please email [email protected] or call our senior director of Grantmaking Operations at 303-953-3600.


A sustainable food system can be defined as one that:

  • Provides nutritious food to meet current food needs while maintaining healthy ecosystems that can also provide food for generations to come
  • Has minimal negative impact to the environment
  • Encourages local production and distribution infrastructures
  • Makes nutritious food available, accessible and affordable to all
  • Is humane and just, protecting farmers and other workers, consumers and communities (APHA, 2007)

Funding Opportunity

Our funding opportunities focus on specific needs aligned with a particular priority within our focus areas. These vary for each funding deadline (Feb. 15, June 15 and Oct. 15). Applicants will be required to address detailed criteria specific to that funding opportunity. Grant funding is highly competitive within the pool of applicants for each individual funding opportunity

We encourage all applicants to sign up in our grants management system by June 8 to confirm registration is complete in advance of submitting a grant application. Apply for funding by June 15, 2019.

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