Rooted in Evidence Grants

Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition

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Predicted Deadline
The next cycle for this opportunity is predicted based on past data. If you save this grant, we’ll notify you if there are any changes.

Next predicted deadline: Mar 22, 2022 (Letter of inquiry)

Later predicted deadlines: Apr 16, 2022 (Full proposal)

Grant amount: Approximately US $25,000

Fields of work: Food Access & Hunger

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Project / Program

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: United States

990 Snapshot



Established in 2019, the Rooted in Evidence Food Bank Grant and Evaluation Program funds eligible food banks working to support innovative and dynamic programming to improve the health and dietary quality of emergency food recipients. In this new round of funding, a total of $100,000 will be awarded, in the form of four $25,000 grants. In addition, selected grantees will receive an evaluation designed by Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition in collaboration with grantee staff and volunteers, an added benefit worth approximately $25,000 per grant.

Unlike any other grant program, Rooted in Evidence is intended to provide visibility and measurable impact of programs that create lasting change within the food insecurity landscape. By providing food banks with the tools necessary to measure impact of their programs while simultaneously building capacity for measurement and evaluation, programs will be enhanced in order to maximize time, talent and resources to better benefit the communities served .Funding for this program is provided by the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition Foundation.

The Food Insecurity Landscape

Food insecurity is complicated.

It is the result of the convergence of a wide spectrum of socioeconomic and other factors. There continues to be a great need to research the upstream influences that cause food insecurity as well as innovative solutions to address this public health concern.

It’s prevalent.

With nearly one in eight Americans classified as food insecure, most of us know someone who is struggling to put food on the table.

It overlaps with obesity and chronic disease.

Poor access to healthy foods leads to poor dietary quality, and that leads to the comorbidity of chronic diseases and conditions such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and various forms of cancer.

It creates negative outcomes.

Food insecurity and poor dietary quality lead to cognition, learning and growth issues for children, as well as increased risk for chronic diseases among adults. In addition, households that struggle with food insecurity often have to make tradeoffs with other basic needs such as medical care, utilities or housing.

What We Aim to Fund

Since the focus of Rooted in Evidence is to enhance evaluation and dissemination capacity, we anticipate that food banks will allocate dedicated staff time for communication and collaboration with GSCN through in-person and virtual meetings, data collection and management activities, and reporting.

GSCN intends to fund innovative and dynamic programming and/or initiatives that seek to improve dietary quality among food pantry and food bank clients. These approaches could include existing or new/adapted programming that may include various:

  • Settings and distribution sites (e.g., mobile or other “pop-up” pantries, college campuses, schools, traditional pantries, clinics).
  • Components or levels of the emergency food system (e.g., distribution, procurement, food environment, client interactions to target knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors).
  • Target populations (e.g., children, adults, families, seniors, college students, staff/volunteers, cancer survivors or other disease conditions, urban/rural).

What GSCN Will Provide 

  • Measurement and evaluation support (e.g., training, technical assistance, guidance, measures, data collection tools, analysis, interpretation of results, dissemination).
  • Marketing expertise and resources (e.g., copywriting, logos, strategy, and technical assistance to develop story ideas/pitching to media, slide decks, infographics, social media activity).
  • Coordination of Institutional Review Board (IRB) application. This will ensure that results from the funded projects will follow ethics guidelines and be eligible for publication and other dissemination.
  • Contribution to manuscript preparation through review and co-authorship.

What Food Bank Grantees Will Provide

  • Staff or volunteer time for data collection on your proposed project and coordination with GSCN.
  • Staff time for coordination with the GSCN marketing team and provision of requested materials.
  • Coordinate with GSCN staff for Institutional Review Board application. This may require research ethics and compliance training for those involved with data collection.
  • Development of peer-reviewed manuscript(s) reporting key findings from grantees’ projects.

There will be the opportunity beyond grant terms for scientific and other broader field dissemination of results through publications, presentations at conferences, etc. Grantees can help serve as “ambassadors” for their programs, extending the reach of funded programming for a larger impact. (There may be an opportunity for some funding to support these activities.)

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


  • To be eligible for funding, organizations must meet the following criteria:
    • Non-profit 501(c)(3) food bank organizations in the U.S. are eligible to apply. 
    • Food pantries are encouraged to collaborate on proposals, but the primary applicant must be a food bank organization.
    • Applicants must propose programming, policies, and/or practices that are innovative and dynamic which aim to improve the health and dietary quality of emergency food recipients in partnership with pantries or another distribution/client serving setting.
      • We are interested in funding both existing and new/adapted programming that will benefit from a robust evaluation that will be conducted in collaboration with the GSCN team.
    • Active participation in data collection in partnership with GSCN is required.
      • This means that there should be dedicated staff time (in-kind, matching/leveraged funds, or within the budget) in order to help facilitate data collection and management.
      • Data will be co-owned by GSCN and the grantee organization, and we intend for grantees to work with GSCN to receive guidance about the evaluation throughout the grant program.
    • Active participation and coordination with the GSCN marketing team is also required.
      • This means some dedicated staff time from a team member at any level as appropriate for your organization (e.g., marketing personnel, executive director, program manager).
      • We intend that your participation will help to provide connection with local media outlets and assistance with grant promotion at a local level (e.g., provide promotional content such as human-interest stories; help disseminate information; provide promotional content as needed for website, social media, newsletter).
      • Some of these marketing activities may include: copy writing, sharing of short videos or photography, and participation in 3-5 calls with the GSCN marketing team.


  • Individuals are not eligible to apply.


This page was last reviewed May 14, 2021 and last updated May 14, 2021