Spark Grant Funding

Funding streams to improve food access in Guelph-Wellington

People make an average of 200 food-related decisions every day (source) about what, where, when, and how much to eat. Most of these decisions are shaped by the surrounding food environment: the physical, social, economic, cultural, and political factors that impact our access to nutritious food.

The Nutritious Foods Workstream of the Guelph-Wellington Our Food Future initiative has completed the initial phase of a Food Environment Assessment. The assessment brings together local data and past research to provide a snapshot of food access in Guelph-Wellington. Many research projects and collaborations were formed to gather information: they included spatial mapping, surveys, focus groups, interviews, audits, and document review.

Highlights of what we learned to date are summarized in the infographic below.

READ the Food Environment Assessment infographic and funding details

The Food Environment Assessment is intended to be a launch point for community engagement that will define the most effective actions we can take as a community to improve access to affordable, nutritious food. In 2023, the Nutritious Foods Workstream will release a culminating Guelph-Wellington Food Security and Health Action Plan that draws on the research, learnings from funded projects and additional engagement.

As part of the community engagement activity and to assess initial intervention strategies, the Nutritious Foods Workstream has unlocked funding to accelerate ideas to action.

$50,000 in funding available

The Nutritious Foods Workstream is providing community grants to help address the issues related to food access that are highlighted in this assessment. We are looking for ideas that encourage healthy eating, make food more affordable, or increase access to nutritious foods in settings where people live, learn, work or play. Ideas should be innovative, replicable, consider the concept of a circular food system, and support one or more of the following themes:

  1. Increase physical access to a range of culturally relevant nutritious foods in the places where residents live, work, learn and play so everyone can make healthy food choices.
  2. .Increase economic access to nutritious foods so everyone can afford a healthy diet
  3. Increase access to opportunities to acquire nutrition knowledge and food skills so that everyone can select and prepare healthy meals.
  4. Increase promotion of nutritious foods so that these foods are valued, celebrated, and shared, empowering everyone to eat well and reduce waste.


Spark Grant funding can accelerate your project or idea.

Spark Grants provide an opportunity to submit a ready to implement idea, receive input, lead a project, and access funds quickly. Rather than just filling out a funding application, applicants will first socialize their idea online through Kitchen Table and have an opportunity to receive community feedback and identify possible collaborations across projects.

Applicants will complete a two-step online application process. Step 1 involves posting a 200-word description of your idea(s) on Our Food Future’s engagement platform called Kitchen Table. Step 2 involves being invited to submit a more detailed proposal that will be evaluated by a review team.

A total of $50,000 is available for multiple small-scale food access initiatives. We encourage ideas in the $5,000-$10,000 range and submissions should not exceed $20,000. Anyone can apply, including individuals, non-profits, schools, neighborhoods, workplaces, etc.

Follow these steps:

a. Download the Spark Grants Program Guide here.

b. Sign up to Kitchen Table Submit your idea here. Application deadline June 10, 2022.

c. Shortlisted projects will be announced on June 17, 2022

d. A full project proposal will be due from shortlisted applicants by July 15, 2022.

3. Winners will be announced by August 15, 2022

Join The Kitchen Table to participate.

***If you have any issues registering a Kitchen Table account and submitting your idea, please email***

We thank you in advance for your interest and participation in this project.

Additional resources:

News release


Nutritious Foods Workstream

Story from Midterm Report