UPDATE: The deadline for grant application submissions has been extended to 5 p.m., March 31, 2023. Additional office hours and in-person workshops will be also be scheduled. See Community Food Grant Program for details.

February 9, 2023 – San Diego, CA – San Diego Foundation announced today the launch of the Community Food Grant Program to provide $4.5 million in grants to support food security and food sovereignty for low-income communities and those with limited access to healthy foods.

“The COVID-19 public health crisis dramatically impacted our food system, exposing inequalities and the need for greater resilience,” said Christiana DeBenedict, Director of Environment Initiatives at SDF. “The vision for the Community Food Grant Program is to build regional capacity for community-based, grassroots organizations by investing in long-term solutions to empower community choice and food sovereignty.”

The Community Food Grant Program, which was approved for funding by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, invites applications for initiatives that focus on efforts to grow, raise and harvest crops, fish, or forage food, process these products and distribute them for human consumption. Examples of the types of projects that fall under this definition include, but are not limited to:

  • Community gardens and food forests
  • Agriculture in urban settings
  • Opportunities for consumers to purchase directly from growers or farmers and fisherfolk
  • Infrastructure for food processing and distribution
  • Education opportunities around food and farming

The deadline for nonprofits to apply is 5 p.m. PST, Friday, March 3, 2023. Pre-recorded webinars for grantseekers are available in English and Spanish online. In-person grant application workshops will also be held in English and Spanish on Feb. 10 and 16 at Olivewood Gardens & Learning Center in National City and Coastal Roots Farm in Encinitas. Additionally, grants are expected to range from $5,000 to $250,000 per year. All funding must be expended by December 31, 2024. Grant application information and resources are available online at SDFoundation.org/grantseekers.

Funding for the Community Food Grant Program is made possible through a partnership with County of San Diego. In 2021, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved the framework for the use of American Rescue Plan Act funding, including the framework for this program. The Community Food Grant Program’s grant guidelines are informed by its Advisory Council comprised of local food system leaders and community engagement sessions, surveys and input from residents, nonprofit leaders, business owners and community organizers across the main sectors that touch the local food system.

The Community Food Grant Program contributes to building resilient communities, a pillar of the SDF Strategic Plan, by addressing equity barriers and creating a more inclusive and accessible food system for all.

About San Diego Foundation

San Diego Foundation inspires enduring philanthropy and enables community solutions to improve the quality of life in our region. Our strategic priorities include advancing racial and social justice, fostering equity of opportunity, building resilient communities, and delivering world-class philanthropy to realize our vision of just, equitable and resilient communities. The Environment Initiative seeks to preserve and protect our resources, build a more sustainable path of economic growth and ensure a higher quality of life for those who call San Diego home. For more than 47 years, SDF and its donors have granted more than $1.4 billion to support nonprofit organizations strengthening our community. Learn more at SDFoundation.org.


Lorena Nava Ruggero, San Diego Foundation, lruggero@sdfoundation.org, 619-814-1365