Feed Opportunity Fund

Feed Opportunity Fund

Food insecurity, known as uncertain or inadequate access to the food needed for a healthy life, is a serious and growing problem in Canada. While lack of money to buy food is the single greatest cause of food insecurity, it can also be impacted by geography, health status, access to social supports, knowledge barriers, and structural racism.

The Centre supports the development of long-term strategies that can help overcome barriers to food security and reduce food insecurity for people across Canada. We invest in innovative research, collaborative learning, and impactful scale-oriented projects that seek to understand what is and isn’t effective at reducing food insecurity in Canada. We recognize that this level of impact requires efforts from multi-sectoral actors including business, governments, civil society, non-profit organizations, academics, and advocates.

The Feed Opportunity Fund is an open call for compelling ideas and approaches that can contribute to a reduction in food insecurity, so that more people in Canada have stable physical and economic access to enough nutritious and culturally appropriate food.

Our Approach to Partnership

We build trusted and open partnerships to learn what works and what doesn’t to advance food security and reduce food insecurity. We move beyond a conventional funder-grantee relationship to actively collaborate with our partners in the spirit of increasing impact.

We seek projects with the potential to scale. Through supporting experimentation and insightful evaluation, we support our partners to develop effective approaches, which can be scaled up or out.

We work with partners to increase their organizational capacity to accelerate and expand their impact. This includes providing access to expertise to help partners achieve strategic goals.

Project Grants

Project Grants support initiatives that go beyond emergency food relief to provide programs or interventions that reduce barriers to food security and which may reduce household food insecurity. Project grants are provided to organizations that are working directly with and alongside food-insecure people.

Project Grants typically range from $25,000–$150,000/year, although higher levels of funding may be considered for initiatives with potential for scale impact. Subject to annual review, Project Grants may extend up to three years or more in exceptional cases. Evaluation and learning are important parts of Project Grants; partners will work in collaboration with key stakeholders, including the Centre, to develop process and outcome evaluation plans that align with project goals.

2022 Priorities

Priority will be given, but not limited to:

  • Initiatives that increase access to income (i.e., through government financial benefits, gainful employment, training programs, etc.)
  • Initiatives that increase the affordability of food (i.e., through subsidy models, non-profit social enterprises or retail)
  • Projects that demonstrate strong partnerships, including across sectors
  • Initiatives that focus on supporting peoples with disabilities who are experiencing food insecurity

Project Grant applications will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Clarity of the initiative, key activities and milestones
  • Rationale and demonstrated need for the work
  • Potential for impact on the outcomes listed above
  • Ability to have immediate impact and potential to contribute to long-term, scale impact (reaching more people over time)
  • Ability to engage other funders, including the private sector, foundations, academia and government
  • Sustainability of the project post-Centre funding

Learning Grants

Learning Grants seek to surface knowledge and insights that further understanding of food insecurity and the efficacy of different interventions to reduce food insecurity. Learning grants are provided to organizations interested in conducting research or sharing knowledge through partnerships, collaboratives, or networks that build skills and collective action to reduce food insecurity.

Learning Grants can be up to $150,000/year. Subject to annual review, Learning Grants may extend up to three years or more in exceptional cases.

Learning Grant applications will be assessed based on the following criteria:

  • A rationale for how the approach advances knowledge, fills research gaps, and/or builds or strengthens networks
  • Clarity of the hypotheses or learning objectives, including key activities and milestones
  • Potential for the initiative to impact the reduction of food insecurity in the long-term
  • Effective knowledge mobilization strategies to share learnings with the Centre and others
  • Ability to engage other funders, including the private sector, foundations, academia and government

Grant Eligibility

Organizations may apply individually or in collaboration with others. To be eligible for the Feed Opportunity Fund, initiatives must:

  • Be led by a registered charity or qualified donee
  • Demonstrate an innovative or unique approach
  • Work openly with the Centre to learn what works and what doesn’t through rigorous evaluation and share that learning with others
  • Be willing to work with the Centre to course correct, overcome challenges and enable project resiliency

While food does not need to be a core component of a project, the work should include reducing food insecurity as a primary outcome.

Generally we do not fund:

  • Organizations that are not registered charities or qualified donees:
  • Faith-based initiatives
  • Political organizations
  • Initiatives that focus solely on developing food and nutrition skills
  • Ongoing operating expenses that are unrelated to the proposed project
  • Capital projects