enviroFund™ Local Food Project Grants: Building a sustainable local food system

Why food?

Food is a topic that resonates with many people for many reasons. There are growing concerns about disappearing farmland, depleted wild salmon populations, inequities in food distribution, the rise of a fast-food culture, and the carbon footprint of food.

Fortunately at the same time there is an emerging local interest in growing food, buying local and organic foods, and working to ensure sustainable food production within our communities.

Sustainable food production provides economic, social, and environmental benefits to our communities. It can help improve community well-being, contribute to the local economy, and ensure ecosystem health. It also helps secure a supply of food for local consumption and keeps our food system resilient.

Application Process

There is a two stage application process, with the first stage a letter of intent due 5:00pm Monday, August 17, 2015. (Download Letter of Intent here.) Shortlisted grant applicants then receive a full application form to be completed by October 8, 2015. Applicants may expect grant decision results by mid-November 2015.
Contact: louise_pochailo@vancity.com

Please read the eligibility and criteria for this year’s program listed below.

Project areas

Vancity is interested in supporting larger-scale projects that are innovative and will increase local sustainable food production and lead to the growth of this sector.

This funding is intended to support projects that are:

  • Growing food closer to home through sustainable agriculture and fisheries, including support for small and medium size farmers, young farmers, urban agriculture, and other local and organic food sector initiatives. These projects should be aimed at increasing local food production.
  • Increasing the capacity of the local food system to access, process, warehouse and/or distribute local food through projects such as food hubs, commercial kitchens, new marketing models, aggregation and shared distribution initiatives. These projects should support local, organic or sustainable food social enterprises, businesses, and co-operatives.
  • Increasing the number of restaurants, institutions and governments that purchase local food - projects may focus on small-scale, medium or large purchasers


  • Your organization must be a not-for-profit, cooperative, social enterprise (owned by a not-for-profit) or First Nations group.
  • Your project must take place within Vancity’s operating area (Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and/or Greater Victoria/Gulf Island areas) and directly benefit local communities.

Project criteria

  • Measurable social/environmental impact - your project should generate quantifiable outcomes. Applicants will need to identify and report on impact measures.
  • Action-oriented -your primary focus must be based on taking steps to increase local sustainable food production, access or demand. It may also include research and education components.
  • Innovation - your project should illustrate how it will lead innovation in the sector or assist in developing the local food sector's production capacity, viability or resilience.

Project preferences

  • Vancity and community benefits/engagement – projects that provide social, environmental and economic benefits to the local community and incorporate community/business participation into project implementation will be given preference. The focus should be either on engaging the public in your project through education in order to buy more local food and/or engaging and supporting local food businesses/enterprises in order to help them be more successful.
  • Credit union membership — preference will be given to organizations that are members of Vancity or another credit union.

Grant size: $15,000 - $40,000.

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