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Community Food Systems Grants

These grants fund community-rooted and driven projects that address gaps and shortfalls of the industrial food system. The goal is to support the implementation of place-based practices that provide multi-benefit, long-term strategies that improve food access, address equity, economic opportunities, and community health.

In addition to addressing the issues listed above, grant-funded projects conserve natural resources and prevent greenhouse gas emissions by supporting one or more of the following activities: local food production, local sourcing/procurement of food, food recovery, upcycling of surplus food and food byproducts, and community education to help residents reduce wasted food at home.

The Community Food Systems grant category provides funding for innovative projects that improve food access and education for communities that are historically underserved and experience food insecurity.

Who can apply

  • This grant is available to nonprofits and businesses in Alameda County.
  • Businesses that can be identified as small, local, and/or BIPOC led will be prioritized.

Eligible projects

  • Encourage multi-benefit practices, partnerships, and long-term strategies to address food insecurity.
  • Improve access to nutritious, culturally appropriate, and locally grown food, whenever possible.
  • Support efforts that prevent the wasting of nutritious, culturally appropriate, and/or locally grown food and ensure equitable, dignified distribution to communities.
  • Engage individuals and communities in developing kitchen management skills that help make the most of food and food budgets.

Non-eligible projects

  • Projects that compost or recycle food.
  • Requests to purchase vehicles, trucks, or vans will not be considered for funding.

Priority will be given to projects that

  • Incorporate food waste prevention approaches.
  • Recover and distribute prepared food from donors such as large restaurants, healthcare facilities, events, K-12 school districts, and hotels.
  • Implement client choice food distribution models.
  • Provide donated food to underserved communities not currently reached.
  • Focus on food donation and promote additional services such as employment, housing, and economic empowerment.
  • Demonstrate community partnerships and support.
Priority will be given to projects that focus on one or more of the areas mentioned above. Projects not focused on priority areas but that meet the general requirements will still be considered. For additional information on the priority areas for Food Waste Reduction grants, click here.


Funding amounts

Up to $10,000 per grant request.


Grant application is now closed. 

Grant Application Timeline

Applications Due: March 14, 2024
Grant Awards Announced: May 24, 2024

Grantee Highlight

Goodness Village

Goodness Village in Livermore is a tiny home community for people transitioning out of chronic homelessness. With a Community Food Systems grant from StopWaste, the nonprofit funded equipment to store and process recovered, surplus food to feed the Village, as well as a program to teach residents to make jams, preserves, and other upcycled food products. These will be sold to the larger local community, with proceeds coming back to support Goodness Village. 

Read more

Gill Tract Farm Coalition

Gill Tract Community Farm in Albany invites local residents to grow and harvest culturally relevant food for themselves and their families in exchange for help with weeding, planting, and watering. Extra harvest is sold at a sliding-scale farm stand and redistributed to community members who lack access to fresh organic produce through the farm’s partnerships with East Bay organizations and food pantries. Grant funds help the Farm expand its capacity to offer locally grown produce to food distribution partners and reduce food waste with improved food storage equipment and food safety training for staff.

The Bread Project

The Bread Project in Berkeley offers free commercial cooking and baking classes to help low-income and formerly incarcerated individuals, immigrants, refugees and others with barriers to employment become economically self-sufficient. Besides job skills and safe serve certifications, they also provide employment readiness training and placement assistance. Grant funds will pay for equipment and staff time to run the year-round classes. In addition to running the training program, The Bread Project turns food recovered with the help of partners such as Berkeley Food Network, and Food Shift into meals for distribution to low-income families as well as food-insecure and houseless communities.