Request for Grant Proposals

The Power of Food in School

State and Community Initiatives to Increase Access to Food Education and Nourishing School Meals
Students eating a school lunch

Overview / Description of Grants

Newman’s Own Foundation, with equity and strategic support from FoodCorps, is requesting proposals that support statewide and district-reaching organizations working toward every student having access to food education and/or nourishing meals in school. This grants program will prioritize Black, Indigenous, Multiracial and People of Color (BIMPOC) led organizations working on behalf of their communities and states toward systemic solutions in schools in the areas of food education, local procurement, school nutrition leadership development, educator engagement, ensuring adequate time to eat, supporting school kitchen infrastructure and scratch cooking, and increasing access to school meals.

Grants will support 501(c)(3) organizations in various stages of their systems change work. Grant review criteria will prioritize projects and organizations that are BIMPOC-led and honor the grassroots wisdom and expertise of local communities. The grants will focus on work based in the following 13 states: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Oregon; and the District of Columbia. Examples of projects to be funded may include:

  • Coalition building and goal setting: capacity to effectively build and facilitate a network of organizations working toward a common set of goals
  • Case studies and research: gathering examples of successful programs, policies, and factors that should be elevated as proof points to scale and replicate
  • Raising awareness through communications campaigns: all aspects of communications campaigns to raise awareness and engage key target audiences in pursuit of systems change, including message testing, material development, and PR
  • State policy and advocacy work: educating and building relationships with legislators to ultimately pass policies that support and resource this work (note: direct lobbying is ineligible for funding)
  • Annual convening and/or training: resources to cover in-person convenings with the goal of strategic planning, goal setting, and training to be considered as a key foundational activity of this work

Funding Available

Newman’s Own Foundation has a pool of up to $450,000 set aside for this request for proposals. Grants will be in the range of $10,000–$50,000. Funding can be used for general operations or program support—whichever is identified as the higher priority for your organization.

Activities not considered for this grant opportunity include:

  • Lobbying and/or any political activity
  • FoodCorps service fees
  • Programs that are not in service to larger, systemic change
  • Projects outside of the scope of the content areas listed above
  • Work focused outside the geographic scope of this granting opportunity

Timeline (Key Dates)

  • Mid-June: RFP goes live
  • June 30: Conducted live Q&A session for interested organizations. View recorded session here.
  • Mid-June to Mid-August: Nonprofits encouraged to submit eligibility quiz as early as possible; Proposals accepted through August 15
  • Mid-August to Mid-September: Review proposals and make final grant decisions
  • October: Funding distributed

Scorecard Elements

Impact: This project shifts power, resources, and/or access to communities most impacted by systematic oppression and/or discriminatory policies. It does so in a way that builds community power and aims to achieve systemic change.

Centering Community: The vision, design, and development of this project centers those with shared identities and lived experience of the issues this project is designed to address. The project has clear strategies for ongoing community input. Decision-making within the project centers those closest to the work.

Alignment: There is clear alignment between the project goals and the intent of Newman’s Own Foundation to have these funds support statewide and district-reaching organizations working towards every student having access to food education and/or nourishing meals in school.

Ease: This project has clearly defined timelines and roles for engaged stakeholders, partners, and community members. There is acknowledgement that systemic change initiatives take time. The project plan grants the organization/coalition the time necessary to do work that advances justice and minimizes harm through realistic project outcomes.

Frequently Asked Questions

If your organization is not a 501(c)(3), but it has a fiscal sponsor, you are eligible to apply.

The request and funding should support work in one or more of the priority states. Please align your budget request accordingly.

The intention of this grant is to support advocacy, policy-related movement building, and efforts that are working toward lasting change for students. To be considered for this funding, grant applications for direct-to-student programming must be clear about the ways in which the programming is connected to or being evaluated for replicability, sustainability, or long-term investment by a district, municipality, or state.

Potential questions to ask yourself about alignment with this grant:

  • Is there a plan for scaling or replicating this program across a district, county, or state? How would this funding make scaling the program possible? Through policy change? District resource investments? Other?
  • Is this program a model or pilot that is being tested by a number of different partners or in a number of locations to build a case for replication or sustainability? How many students are eligible to benefit if the program is replicated?
  • Could the delivery of this program create change for the students who will be coming through the district in three or five years from now?

There is no limit if your organization is a 501(c)(3). If you use a fiscal sponsor, the limit is 15%.

An eligibility quiz was available through August 15, 5:00 pm ET, to determine your organization’s eligibility and receive further instructions on how to apply.

Click this link to see the questions you will need to answer: Power of Food in School – Proposal Questions. Note that you will receive a link to fill out your proposal once you have successfully completed the eligibility quiz (deadline August 15, 5:00 pm ET).

The 13 states and DC were selected because they are aligned with FoodCorps’ current programmatic footprint. At Newman’s Own Foundation, we wanted to ensure that we could learn about the impact of the grant resourcing so we can consider additional funding in the future. We felt having the recipients geographically proximate to FoodCorps’ staff and initiatives would increase the opportunities to learn about the work, while allowing us to adhere to our commitments to reduce reporting or evaluation efforts by the grantees.

This grant is focused on supporting initiatives that aim to make changes for students in K-12.

This grant opportunity is only one round of funding, but we do not have a “spend by” date for the funding once awarded.

No, but the impact of the initiative or effort needs to show up for students in K-12 schools.

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