Funding Models

Various funding approaches have been used to fund small and large-scale community-led food access initiatives

Both traditional and collaborative funding approaches were used, allowing opportunistic and timely projects to be funded. Collaborative funding approaches were also explored to build relationships and decentralize decision making. Examples of funding approaches used to date included: 

Collaborative Funding

Co-Lab Action and Funding Process: Rather than applying competitively, community groups brought ideas forward to state their intention to take part in the Co-Lab process, explored and built on the ideas, and decided as a group how best to allocate funding for food insecurity projects. 

Challenge Based Funding Opportunities

Spark Grants Idea Generation Challenge, Guelph-Wellington Urban Agriculture Challenge and Guelph-Wellington Community Agriculture Challenge: Project ideas were publicly socialized on Our Food Future’s Kitchen Table platform. Short-listed ideas were then selected to develop complete proposals and select projects received a portion of the allocated funds. 

Strategic Collaborations

Funding distributed to projects presented to cross-sectoral food working group that align with the vision and serve as demonstration projects that were already vetted by community organizations. 

Social Financing

Harvest Impact Social Finance Fund: This pooled community-lending utility is structured as a share capital cooperative that provides circular and social entrepreneurs access to grants, loans, awards, including non-repayable start-up capital to high-potential projects. 

Community Designed Funding Streams

Food Equity Stream: Funding program co-created by members of the food access community.  A low barrier funding stream was allocated to actions that arise from a local Food Equity and Community Resilience project that aims to understand how the food system presents barriers for underrepresented groups.