City of Seattle’s Food Equity Fund now accepting proposals

$3 million available to community-initiated projects working to advance food equity

Community-based organizations working to address food education, access, and security in Seattle are encouraged to apply for the City of Seattle’s Food Equity Fund by November 30, 2021. This new grant program prioritizes projects led by and for communities most affected by limited access to healthy, affordable, and culturally relevant food: Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), immigrants, refugees, low-income individuals, families with young children, youth, and elders. The Food Equity Fund is funded by the Sweetened Beverage Tax (SBT) and, in 2021, is receiving a quarter of it’s funding from the Equitable Communities Initiative Task Force.

“Food insecurity has long impacted our communities of color, and COVID-19 has further exacerbated those disparities. As a city, we are called on to invest in resources that provide equitable access in every neighborhood and increasing access to healthy food is another step in the right direction,” said Mayor Jenny A. Durkan. “The best ideas come from the community and the Food Equity Fund is a new resource that will elevate community voices with new strategies that will have a lasting positive impact on the health and wellbeing of those most deeply affected by food insecurity.”

The Food Equity Fund was developed in 2021 in response to recommendations from the Sweetened Beverage Tax (SBT) Community Advisory Board, a board composed of eleven members committed to centering the communities most impacted by health and economic inequities when advising the City on programs and services supported by SBT revenue.

“Creating an equitable food system requires direct investments in the organizations and people who know what their communities need to thrive,” said SBT Community Advisory Board Co-Chairs Tanika Thompson and Jen Moss. “This fund is a long-time Community Advisory Board priority and we’re glad to see it come to fruition with additional support from other City sources.”

In 2021, the Food Equity Fund also received an investment of $750,000 from the Equitable Communities Initiative Task Force (ECITF), a group of Black, Indigenous and people of color community leaders who conducted a community-led engagement process resulting in budget, policy, and programmatic recommendations to improve equity for communities of color impacted by discriminatory practices and policies.

“As a member of the ECITF Health Equity Work Group, we understand the importance of good food to maintain the health of our community,” said Task Force member Ray Williams of Black Farmers Collective. “Investing in the Food Equity Fund allowed us to support people and organizations that were working hard to get fresh, healthy food to people who needed it.”

“Organizations led by and for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities are the ones doing the real work to create change and move the needle on food equity in Seattle. They are also the ones best equipped to affect change in their own communities. The Food Equity Fund provides us an opportunity to directly invest in their work and leadership.”

– Andrés Mantilla, Director of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods

Apply for Funding

In 2022, approximately $3 million in funding will be available for community-led projects that seek to advance food equity. This includes but is not limited to projects that:

  • Increase access to culturally relevant food
  • Create a more equitable and sustainable local food system
  • Promote healthy eating and positive lifestyle changes
  • Partner with small businesses in the food sector to address food equity

Projects will be awarded within two funding tiers:

  • Tier One grants have a maximum award amount of $75,000. Applications will be open October 1 – November 30, 2021.
  • Tier Two grants have a maximum award amount of $150,000. Applications will be open March 1 – April 30, 2022.

For more information or to begin your application visit  seattle.gov/food-equity-fund.

Engagement Opportunities

To ensure equitable engagement and to help community leaders get information, fine tune project ideas, and submit strong applications, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON) staff are offering a variety of community engagement opportunities, including:

  • Technical assistance via weekly virtual office hours every Wednesday, 4-8pm between October 13 – November 17.
  • A pre-recorded informational workshop video in multiple languages will be made available in mid-October.
  • Targeted in-language outreach and one-on-one technical assistance via partnership with the City of Seattle’s Community Liaisons.

In addition, DON is offering three online information workshops where community members can learn more about the application and project review process.

Workshop dates and times are as follows:

October 6, 2021, 6-7:30pm
Join Online
Join by phone: 1-206-207-1700 or 1-408-418-9388
Access code: 2498 817 0207

October 23, 2021, 10-11:30am
Join Online
Join by phone: 1-206-207-1700 or 1-408-418-9388
Access code: 2489 810 6698

November 1, 2021, 10-11:30am
Join Online
Join by phone: 1-206-207-1700 or 1-408-418-9388
Access code: 2486 037 7377

Grant Review Process

All applications will be reviewed by a Food Equity Fund Grant Review Panel. The Tier One review panel will consist of one Food Equity Fund project manager, one additional DON staff member, one staff member from another relevant City department, and two community members. The application review process will take place in December 2021 and January 2022. All reviewers will be required to attend an anti-bias training. Community members will be compensated $750 for their participation. If you are interested in serving on the grant review panel, please contact program staff at (206) 727 – FOOD (3663) or foodequityfund@seattle.gov.


Information, resources, and applications are available at seattle.gov/food-equity-fund.

To speak with Food Equity Fund program staff, please call (206) 727 – FOOD (3663) or send an email to foodequityfund@seattle.gov.