Vancouver, B.C. (November 9, 2022) These grants, supported by the Giustra Foundation, have allowed $200,000 of funding to be distributed to community facing organizations across British Columbia in support of projects addressing food security, food education and food resilience with drastically reduced administration and reporting requirements.
Already stretched non profit organizations are experiencing an increased demand for support from their communities, who are struggling to cope with recent hikes in grocery prices. In a recent report by PROOF it is estimated that 5.8 million people, including almost 1.4 million children under the age of 18, are living in food-insecure households.
24 projects received funds of between $5000 - $10,000 after a filling out a short survey and completing a 30-minute zoom call, with the whole process taking organizations less than 2 hours to access funds. In total over $750,000 of grant requests were received in just 4 weeks, highlighting the elevated need for support funds around food resilience post pandemic.
“Food insecurity is a global injustice that’s often rooted in broken food systems. I’ve long been passionate about strengthening food systems, making them more equitable and efficient to provide access to the most marginalized and reduce global hunger. Much of my philanthropy supports a social enterprise that I co-founded in 2007, Acceso, that works in Latin America and the Caribbean. But there’s also a great need for stronger food systems in my own backyard in BC. Supporting the Grow Grants program is a great way to bring my passion for equitable and efficient systems into a grant making process to quickly support those doing the hard work of righting the injustices of food insecurity.” – Frank Giustra, The Giustra Foundation
This one-time granting opportunity aimed to alleviate the capacity burden on community organizations and create more equitable access to funds for small to medium non profits who may not have a fundraising department. The grants were designed to showcase that the process doesn’t need to be onerous and centralize trust and collaboration with community to achieve collective impact against these issues. Using this reduced approach Grow Grants were able to reach new communities who are often excluded from traditional grant systems, such as remote or Indigenous communities.
Communities like Quandra ICAN, who were awarded $7500 to implement a “food preserving library” where their more remote residents can borrow canning and preserving equipment to create winter food stocks and increase resilience on the island against food supply disruptions and regular power outages.
Among several significant changes to the traditional granting and reporting process, Grow Grants also incentivised increased collaboration, by offering higher fund amounts to joint applications. Over 50% of applications received were collaborations between registered non profit and for-profit organizations.
Collaborations such as Vancouver Food Runners and Earthwise Society, who have partnered to increase the local effort to redirect surplus food from businesses/farms to local non-profits using their food rescue app technology.
“This instrumental funding will allow our organizations to expand a joint food program whereby we rescue healthy surplus produce from local farmers and provide much-needed harvest boxes for community members experiencing food insecurity. Complex challenges like food insecurity and food waste require a collaborative and coordinated approach, and through this Grow Grant funding we will be able to expand our reach and impact in the Lower Mainland.” – Michelle Reining, Executive Director, Vancouver Food Runners
Grow Grants supported 24 projects in total, and with administrative support through the Vancouver Foundation were able to reach projects as widely as Prince Rupert, Quadra Island and Cherryville BC,
List of Grantees:
Public Health Association of BC
Wild Bird Trust of BC
Mount Pleasant – 2 projects
Vancouver Food Runners
Cherryville Community Food and Resource Society
Disabled Independent Gardeners Association
Archway Community Services
Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm
North Okanagan Land to Table Network (as hosted by the Social Planning and Research Council of BC)
Disabled Independent Gardeners Association
Langley Environmental Partners Society
Vancouver Urban Food Forest Foundation / Kiwassa Neighbourhood House
Growing Chefs Society
Farmfolk Cityfolk Society
SPEC (Society Promoting Environmental Conservation
BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation
Vine arts Festival Society
Kamloops Food Policy Council
About Grow Grants
Grow Grants, supported by the Giustra Foundation, are aimed at projects that focus on Food
Security, Food farming, Knowledge revitalization and Sustainable and resilient futures for
marginalized communities. We believe that growing food changes lives and that the growing
community should be as diverse as the Canadian community. This means taking big steps to
create inclusive access for everyone and help committed grantees to “keep it growing” with the