Future of Food Security Grant

Stark Community Foundation

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Grant amount: Up to US $100,000

Anticipated deadline: Jun 28, 2020 1:30pm PDT

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Project / Program

Location of project: Stark County, Ohio

Location of residency: United States

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Stark Community Foundation is leading the effort to address food insecurity in Stark County by conducting an analysis of current food security efforts and ultimately to create a framework for addressing food security that mixes healthy food access, community education and economic development.

As defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food insecurity is “a measure of a lack of regular access to enough food for an active healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods.” In Stark County 15.3% of the population (57,730 people) and 23.8% of children (20,650) are considered “food insecure”, according to 2015 figures.

In December 2013, Stark Community Foundation commissioned a study about food insecurity in Stark County in order to gain a deeper understanding of the role of food in developing a secure, healthy and economically vital community. The Future of Food Security in Stark County: County Assessment and Strategic Framework for Change was released publicly in January 2015. This report is a culmination of research that was conducted throughout the last year by Stark Community Foundation, examining hunger issues as well as identifying resources and opportunities in order to feed those in Stark County.

SCF made a commitment to provide planning and implementation grants to organizations that are finding long-term solutions to hunger. While funding opportunities may exist for food security efforts (particularly through federal grant streams), it is our intention for local foundation funding to leverage additional impact. As part of the Foundations pro-active grantmaking activities, this RFP is being released to allow organizations in this realm to take their work to the next level.


SCF is interested in investing in food system projects that are at the community (e.g. multi‐ neighborhood, city, county, or regional) level. We are not looking to fund individual organizations working in isolation.

Desired projects will noticeably improve a community or regional effort’s ability to achieve its goals and objectives and increase community impact with a one‐year planning grant or an implementation grant.

Projects must produce significant impact in at least two of three areas of interest:   

  • advancing community education;
  • creating economic development opportunities;
  • increasing healthy food access.

As stated in the report, for this RFP, SCF is looking to support food system projects that will demonstrate the following progress indicators:

  • Viability Testing
  • Health Outcomes
  • Local Economic Impacts
  • Vitality Of Networks
  • Food Access
  • Food Assistance
  • Multiple Forms Of Capital

Examples of Food System Projects

The Future of Food Security in Stark County RFP is targeting projects in Stark County that are working at the local and/or regional food system levels.  Ideally, we are looking for projects with specific measurable outcomes that touch more than one organization, community group, farm, or food business.

The following are a few examples of local/regional food system projects:

  • Advancing community awareness about reducing risks of food insecurity through education.
  • Creating a partnership between emergency food providers that share distribution resources.
  • Expanding access and increasing market for healthy and local foods.  
  • Improving access to healthy foods through grocery store development/partnerships or creating food co‐ops in “food deserts”.   
  • Operating a network of community kitchens for micro‐enterprise development and/or for small businesses to share space, equipment and costs as a way to increase access to local/regional food while addressing training and education issues. 
  • Providing low‐income residents with job training opportunities in agriculture/food industry occupations.

One‐year Planning Grants

One‐year planning grants up to a maximum of $15,000 per project (note: receiving a planning grant is not a guarantee of future funding from SCF for a full project).

SCF will consider one-year planning grants for projects that demonstrate further opportunity, but need additional research and planning to be ready for a more significant investment.

Planning processes should reflect collaborative/multi-organization efforts with one lead organization designated to apply for SCF funds.

Implementation Grants

Implementation grants can be one-to-three years with a maximum award of $100,000 per project.

SCF will consider multi-year implementation grants with a more significant investment for projects that are poised to expand capacity in a community.

Implementation projects should reflect collaborative/multi-organization efforts with one lead organization designated to apply for SCF funds.

These grant dollars remain a competitive grant process in order to focus in several communities and to encourage collaboration amongst organizations. 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Grants are made to: 501(c)(3) organizations in good standing, tax-exempt private agencies, and government entities located within Stark County, Ohio only OR directly benefiting Stark County.


  • The strongest proposals will reflect coordination and community‐based planning that avoids duplication, effectively uses resources, and demonstrates strategic goals.


  • We do not permit the use of fiscal agents for this grant opportunity.
  • Stark Community Foundation normally does not approve grants to support the following:
    • Annual appeals and membership contributions
    • Conferences and recognition events
    • Deficit financing for programs or capital expenditures
    • Endowment funds
    • Incentives for program participants
    • Multiple station computerization projects from individual school systems and other educational institutions
    • Operating expenses of well-established organizations
    • Religious organizations for religious purposes
    • Stipends for program participants
    • Vehicles