2017 Guidelines and application process

2017 grant recipients have been determined. Please check back in January 2018 to find out more about our new guidelines and criteria.

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

Vancity is interested in supporting collaborative projects that will help build a sustainable local food system that contributes to the health and well-being of the communities in which we live and work. We are keen to hear your innovative ideas on how to build a local food system that integrates shared values around sustainability, community health and economic vitality.

Application Process

There is a two stage application process, with the first stage a letter of intent. Shortlisted grant applicants are then invited to complete a full application form.

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

Project priority areas

Vancity is interested in supporting larger-scale innovative projects that will increase local sustainable food production or support the sustainable growth of this sector. We love to see community collaboration in projects and are interested in initiatives that build a resilient local food economy, protects and conserves land and other natural resources, and/or promotes market innovation.

This funding is intended to support projects that are:

  • Growing local food production through sustainable agriculture and fisheries, by support for small and medium size farmers/fishers, young farmers, urban agriculture, and other local and organic food sector initiatives.
  • Increasing the capacity/efficiency of the local food system to access, process, warehouse and/or distribute local food through projects such as food hubs, commercial kitchens, shared processing facilities, new marketing models, aggregation and shared distribution initiatives. These projects should support local, organic or sustainable food social enterprises, businesses, and/or co-operatives throughout the supply chain and involve them in project planning.
  • Expanding local food procurement - increasing the number of restaurants, institutions and/or governments that purchase local food.
  • Ensuring the environmental sustainability of our local food businesses/producers. Working with local food businesses to reduce negative environmental impacts of their operations or advance sustainable growing practices. Focus could be on climate change adaptation, protecting indigenous plants and animals, reducing negative impacts of fertilizers and pesticides, reducing food waste, increasing pollinators, enhancing soil quality, or the efficient or regenerative use of water, energy and other inputs.


  • We will work with local not-for-profit organizations, social enterprises, co-operatives, labour unions, Indigenous organizations or First Nation governments that align with our values.
  • Your project must take place within Vancity’s operating area (Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Squamish, Capital Regional District - Victoria/Gulf Islands and/or Cormorant Island) 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 sustainability.
  • Collective impact/collaboration – engage a multidisciplinary team in the planning and delivery of the project (could include businesses, not-for-profits or other institutions).

Project preferences

  • Community benefits/engagement - projects that provide social, environmental and economic benefits to the local community and incorporate community/business participation into project planning and implementation will be given preference. Engaging the public in making changes that help develop our local sustainable food economy and supporting progressive local food businesses/enterprises are encouraged.    
  • Sustainable/Scalable – preference will be given to projects that can illustrate that they can develop a project that is financially sustainable over time, and/or is a scalable model.
  • Credit union involvement — preference will be given to organizations that are members of Vancity or another credit union. Our goal is to create reciprocal partnerships that will further our vision of Redefining Wealth. Vancity welcomes your ideas on how we can work together to achieve change.

Grant size: $15,000 - $25,000.

For questions please contact: enviroFund@vancity.com