Above photo: Charlotte-Mecklenberg Food Policy Council helped facilitate the production of this vibrant mural at a local farmers market.
NC Food Council Network
Applications due by 11:59pm
August 25, 2022
Be a part of shifting power!
We’re inviting food councils engaged in the NC Network of Food Councils to participate in an experience, not just a grant application to continue your good work. We are inviting you to deepen your knowledge of the issues and solutions, to provide critical feedback and perspective on proposals, and to help build a culture of gratitude and abundance across this network.
Approximately $84,000 will be distributed through a participatory grantmaking process called Shared Gifting*. Budgets should not exceed $7000. This year, up to twelve food councils will be selected to participate in one of two in-person Shared Gifting events in October 2022.
Selected food council participants will engage in the following ways:
- Show up as a team in all aspects of the process
- Develop a community-oriented proposal for review
- Review, discuss, and give feedback on each others’ proposals
- Participate in an all-day in-person event for funds distribution
- Engage in mid-year follow-up and progress reporting
Community Food Strategies team members and community advisors will select up to 12 food council applicants to participate in two in-person Shared Gifting Circles in October 2022. Proposal budgets should not exceed $7000. Final award amounts will be decided by participants in each Shared Gifting Circle. Each participating council will receive:
- $7000 to gift to other food councils within their Circle
- $1000 to cover both participants’ time and mileage
- One night of lodging per person if needed
ARE WE A FOOD COUNCIL?
Food councils are not one-size-fits-all, and not all are called ‘councils.’ If you are a new council, are new to this network, or have questions about whether your cross-sector group qualifies to apply, please consider the definition of a food council below and then contact us.
- Applicants are active food councils, cross-sector groups of people working towards equitable food-related outcomes.
- At least one food council representative has participated in any of the NC network of food councils’ peer-to-peer engagement opportunities within the last year including:
- Familiarize yourself with Shared Gifting.
- Submit a complete application with input from multiple food council members
- Attend the virtual 2022 Shared Gifting Launch on Friday, September 16 at 10am, familiarizing your team with other Circle participants.
- Bring your humility, wisdom, and support for others.
- Ensure the two food council members (up to 3 for youth food councils) participate in the in-person event, either Oct 7 or Oct 13. Travel and any lodging expenses will be reimbursed.
- Complete a simple evaluation report of the project and how the funds were used.
Food, travel, and lodging, if needed, will be covered. Covid-19 safety protocols will be observed. Selected participants will receive more information on location details.
A NOTE ON SUCCESSFUL PROPOSALS:
Shared gifting circle funds are intended to support food councils’ work in cultivating equitable food systems in their communities. Proposals selected to participate in gifting circles will reflect a process, project, and goal that centers equity*, especially racial and health equity. We aim to create a Shared Gifting experience in which participating people, proposals, and processes also are grounded in equity.
*What do we mean by centering equity?
We draw from our mentors at Race Forward who define racial equity as both an outcome and a process. As an outcome, we achieve racial equity when race no longer determines one’s socioeconomic outcomes; when everyone has what they need to thrive, no matter where they live. As a process, we apply racial equity when those most impacted by structural racial inequity are meaningfully involved in the creation and implementation of the institutional policies and practices that impact their lives. To center equity means to operate in such a way that gives priority to this process and these outcomes.
What can centering equity look like?
No template exists for exactly how equity needs to be centered within the work of your food council. However, centering equity tends to find ways to both increase access to resources and shift decision-making influence to those communities most historically impacted by structural inequity. Here are just a few examples of what centering equity might look like:
- Ensuring inclusive and representative decision-making and council leadership (particularly inclusive of those communities most impacted by structural racial inequity)
- Working toward increasing grassroots influence on policies that affect your food system
- Uncovering ways for creating an organizational and council culture that is inclusive and strengthened by the diverse cultural contributions of all involved
- Seeking to ensure pay and wage equity within the council and all areas of your food system so everyone’s time and contributions are valued
- Working toward collective ownership, shared benefit, and democratic control of your food system
- Reducing barriers to meaningful participation in your food council and food system
- Creating opportunities to share skills and knowledge and learn from community members
- Making space for self-care for individuals and communities that have been historically overburdened
Thursday, August 25, 2022
For an application to be considered, please submit a Word document or pdf of your final proposal answering all of the application questions to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11:59pm on Thursday, August 25th.
QUESTIONS OR SUPPORT:
If you have any questions:
Examples of Success Metrics
We are open to your ideas on how best to capture or reflect the success of your project. Some examples for capturing success might include:
- # of relationships created or strengthened;
- # of farmers who increased sales or market outlets;
- quotes/stories from partners or farmers and food distributors that reflect an increase in connections to markets;
- # of connections to consumers;
- # of people who received connections to resources;
- # of participants attending community event, and a measure/assessment of how well event participants reflected the makeup of the community;
- pre and post event comments from food council members about the connectivity/relationship development from before and after the project/actions took place;
- new dollars created for farmers;
- new policies developed to prioritize small farmers, especially BIPOC farmers and food businesses when purchasing for events
Frequently Asked Questions
What sort of projects would you suggest a brand new food council should consider?
- This funding is flexible and intended to support food councils accomplish their equity-based food work. These are small grants and we do not want you to spend too much time on these applications.
- Potential ideas include funding for:
- coordinators or interns,
- networking support,
- field trips,
- hosting community conversations,
- training & professional development,
- local foods promotion & marketing materials
Will mentoring or assistance with applications be available?
- Yes, we are hosting two Virtual Office Hours for anyone to join the team for questions or consultation. Contact us and we’ll add you to the calendar invite. Also, anyone at anytime is encouraged to contact your region leads directly or Gini Knight at email@example.com.
Can we have several smaller projects instead of one large project?
- Sure, this is flexible funding. You are welcome to have multiple projects within your budget. Food councils are open to crafting any type of proposal that will advance your council’s equity-based food work.
Are there differences in expectations for newly emerging food councils versus food councils that have been in existence for awhile?
- The expectations for all participants will be the same. All participants in these Shared Gifting Circles meet the same criteria and have been engaged with this network through workshops, gatherings, quarterly calls, or other opportunities. Newer councils will likely have different strategies for their work than food councils that have been doing this for many years. Both groups can benefit from fresh and seasoned experience.
We will submit an application by August 25th, but can we refine the proposals and possibly change them during our collaboration time in October?
- Yes. We will encourage dialogue and feedback to each other’s proposals. We are hoping this process will invite new connections and improvements to proposals.
Since an understanding of implicit bias is critical to equity-based work, how will an implicit bias lens be integrated into these projects?
- As an entry point, we reference lecturettes on implicit bias and are encouraging all applicants to review the webinar and do your own reflection. We ask about community engagement and alignment with Racial Equity principles in the application. By holding these facilitated Shared Gifting Circles we will encourage conversation and count on each other to highlight each other’s biases and blind spots.
When should the projects be completed?
- By the end of 2023
When will we receive the funding?
- Grants should be distributed by December 1, 2022. We’ll begin working with each food council right away to finalize paperwork in October.
How many food council members can attend?
- Councils should decide on two council members to attend both days and represent their food councils. Youth-led food councils may have three council members attend.
What will the actual decision-making process look like?
- Great question. Our team has been coached by other experts across the nation in this process and will be using our best facilitation skills to help regions come to an agreement on how these funds will be distributed. We will be working with an open Google Spreadsheet with each food council and their requested budget amounts. Councils will enter the amounts they are willing to gift in two separate rounds. Councils will share why they chose those amounts and what their reactions are to the amounts they received.
Given that our region has significant differences across our counties and food councils, how will this process work given that context?
- It’s true that every city, town, county, and region is different with varying resources, assets, and opportunities. Applicants in each Shared Gifting Circle will have a common passion for and goal of working toward food systems change. The specific issues each food council is working on may be different, and their understanding and analysis of the issues may be different. We are confident that all participants will have relevant and sufficient experience to be curious and ask helpful questions. As facilitators of the process, our team is also planning time to make sure participants have a good understanding of each other’s work before the funding process begins. We also encourage all participants to read the proposals in advance to best understand the projects.
Are there incentives for collaborative projects?
- There are no specific funding incentives for collaborative proposals. Although there are certainly benefits to collaborative projects such as leveraging more resources and staff, adding more brains to creative ideas, building working relationships with other councils, and others. We do encourage collaboration and are open to groups working with other councils on projects. Given this process, it is up to the participants in each Shared Gifting region to decide where the funding goes.
Are you envisioning that we may end up collaborating and building a bigger/collaborative project among two or more councils through this process?
- Yes and no. We don’t have an expectation that collaboration will happen on these specific projects or immediately, and that is a possibility. We are interested in seeing new collaborations and connections come out of these discussions and funding circles, particularly as you better understand each others’ work.
Any other questions?
Give us a shout! firstname.lastname@example.org