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Santa Barbara County Food Action Network Food System Resilience Grants are given to support the achievement of Food Action Plan goals by contributing to the broader food systems of Santa Barbara County. In the near term, organizations supported by these funds will be able to activate and expand their current objectives. In the longer term, funds will collectively build a resilient Countywide food system. The collective action of food system change makers will build the solutions we need now.

The funds, provided by the Santa Barbara Foundation, are awarded by the Santa Barbara County Food Action Network through a process of research, planning, due diligence and evaluation. The network consults with an external volunteer committee whose expertise ensures an equitable and impact driven approach to the review process.

2020 Food Systems Resilience Grant Information


Less than 1% of produce grown in Santa Barbara County is consumed here. According to David Cleveland, a food systems researcher at UCSB, fully 95 percent of the fruits and vegetables consumed in the county are shipped in from elsewhere.1 “Picture two produce-laden tractor-trailers passing on the highway,” he said. “One bringing food into the county; the other hauling it out.” These shocking facts led to a galvanization of people across sectors to further examine what created this outcome and to develop a roadmap to address it.

Published in 2016, the Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan is a community-driven strategic plan that assesses and provides recommendations for how we grow, distribute, consume, and dispose of food. Spearheaded by the Community Environmental Council and the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, more than 200 community members put in over 1,200 hours of volunteer guidance to produce a roadmap for food system resilience for generations to come.

In the following years, the Community Environmental Council and Foodbank of Santa Barbara County continued spearheading efforts to carry forward Food Action Plan goals. In 2019, the Santa Barbara County Food Action Network (SBCFAN) was launched to connect, align, and activate countywide food system actors to develop a robust local food economy, a healthy and just community, and a well-stewarded, resilient foodshed.

Focus Areas

Grants will be available to nonprofit organizations providing programs or services that address and/or achieve one or more of the Food Action Plan Goals. Funding can be used for one of two areas:

New collaborations in research, planning or project activation that lay the foundation for future food system initiatives or create opportunities for broader impact.

Expansion or development of existing and proven food system programs, models and organizations that leverage established resources or partnerships. Projects can be collaborative, an individual organization, or an initiative.

Priorities for Both Focus Areas

Priority will be given to organizations that:

  • Will use funds to strengthen the network and not limit its growth – collaborative and not competitive.
  • Will take into account external shocks to the food system, such as the COVID-19 pandemic in their project/program plan.
  • Will demonstrate cultural competence in their project and/or program by being responsive to and in coordination with the constituency being served.

Application Process

  1. Go to
  2. Applications must be submitted no later than 11:59pm (Pacific Time) on November 10, 2020.
  3. If you are unable to apply online, please contact us at [email protected].

Office Hours

Friday, October 16,  2:00 – 5:00pm
Monday, October 19,  2:00 – 5:00pm
(805) 705-5452

[email protected]

All times Pacific Daylight time

Funding Amount and Duration

The maximum award for SBCFAN grants is $25,000, with no minimum requirement. The grant period is up to one year from the award date.

In lieu of a final report, grantees will be required to attend a convening with other recipients to learn and share your work in 2021, as well as provide written information about your grant.

Application Deadline: November 10, 2020
Funds Awarded: December 2020
Contact: [email protected]

Donor Recognition

As a partner in your efforts, Santa Barbara County Food Action Network is pleased to be acknowledged in any communication materials related to the grant activity. If you choose to use the Santa Barbara County Food Action Network logo on any printed or online material, please refer to our press and media resources page.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Organizations must be certified as tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or use a fiscal sponsor with 501(c)(3) tax status. Applications that do not contain a valid EIN (tax ID) number will not be considered.
  • Applications from public entities such as schools, universities, and libraries through an affiliate or supporting 501(c)(3) organization can be accepted.
  • An agency acting as the fiscal sponsor on behalf of a community collaborative may be eligible to submit proposals on behalf of its own agency needs as well as the needs of the collaborative. Please email [email protected] for more information and to discuss your specific situation.
  • A fiscal sponsor may submit one application on behalf of their organization and one application acting as a fiscal sponsor per grant program.
  • Funds are used to serve constituents within Santa Barbara County.
  • The impact of the deployed funds can be measured and reported upon.
  • Programs or services directly address one of more Food Action Plan goals.

Grants are not awarded for the following purposes or activities:

  • Debt
  • Endowment
  • Fundraising events or Sponsorships
  • Individuals
  • Reimbursement for activities that occurred prior to the grant award date
  • Influencing legislation and/or elections (within the meaning of section 4945(d)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code); except as that activity may be related to the purpose of the grant, and permitted for 501(c)(3) organizations by applicable law or Internal Revenue Service regulations.
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