United States Santa Barbara County Food Action Network Grant Program

Santa Barbara County Food Action Network Food System Resilience Grants are given to support the achievement of Food Action Plan goals by contributing to the broader food systems of Santa Barbara County. In the near term, organizations supported by these funds will be able to activate and expand their current objectives. In the longer term, funds will collectively build a resilient countywide food system. The collective action of food system change makers will build the solutions they need now.

Published in 2016, the Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan is a community-driven strategic plan that assesses and provides recommendations for how we grow, distribute, consume, and dispose of food. Spearheaded by the Community Environmental Council and the Food bank of Santa Barbara County, more than 200 community members put in over 1,200 hours of volunteer guidance to produce a roadmap for food system resilience for generations to come.

In the following years, the Community Environmental Council and Food bank of Santa Barbara County continued spearheading efforts to carry forward Food Action Plan goals. In 2019, the Santa Barbara County Food Action Network (SBCFAN) was launched to connect, align, and activate countywide food system actors to develop a robust local food economy, a healthy and just community, and a well-stewarded, resilient food shed.

Focus Areas

Grants will be available to nonprofit organizations providing programs or services that address and/or achieve one or more of the Food Action Plan Goals. Funding can be used for one of two areas:

new collaborations in research, planning or project activation that lay the foundation for future food system initiatives or create opportunities for broader impact.

Expansion or development of existing and proven food system programs, models and organizations that leverage established resources or partnerships. Projects can be collaborative, an individual organization, or an initiative.


Priority will be given to organizations that:

  • Will use funds to strengthen the network and not limit its growth – collaborative and not competitive.
  • Will take into account external shocks to the food system, such as the COVID-19 pandemic in their project/program plan.
  • Will demonstrate cultural competence in their project and/or program by being responsive to and in coordination with the constituency being served.

Funding Information

The maximum award for SBCFAN grants is $25,000, with no minimum requirement. The grant period is up to one year from the award date.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Organizations must be certified as tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or use a fiscal sponsor with 501(c)(3) tax status. Applications that do not contain a valid EIN (tax ID) number will not be considered.
  • Applications from public entities such as schools, universities, and libraries through an affiliate or supporting 501(c)(3) organization can be accepted.
  • An agency acting as the fiscal sponsor on behalf of a community collaborative may be eligible to submit proposals on behalf of its own agency needs as well as the needs of the collaborative.
  • A fiscal sponsor may submit one application on behalf of their organization and one application acting as a fiscal sponsor per grant program.
  • Funds are used to serve constituents within Santa Barbara County.
  • The impact of the deployed funds can be measured and reported upon.
  • Programs or services directly address one of more Food Action Plan goals.

For more information, visit Santa Barbara Foundation.

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