Growing Up Fresh

The United Fresh Start Foundation is focused on one core mission — to increase children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

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Community Innovation Grants FAQs

To help you with your submission process, we’ve outlines the most commonly asked questions regarding the Community Innovation Grants Program.

When was the applications deadline?
December 1, 2019  at 11:59 pm EST.

When will we grant recipients be notified?
The 2020 grant recipients can be found here.

How long is the grant valid for?
Projects should be completed within one year of receiving funding.

My organization has applied before. Are we eligible to apply again?

My organization received a United Fresh Start Foundation Community Grant in the past. Are we eligible to apply and possibly receive again?

Why is there a focus on innovation?
Ensuring access, selection, and consumption of fresh produce is a complex challenge that provides opportunity for new and exciting strategies. We encourage the submission of applications with this in mind.

How much can we request?
The grant pool for 2020 is a little over $50,000 total, with a minimum of five grants being awarded. The application process is segmented in two ways:

  1. requests $5,000 and under
  2. requests over $5,000

We encourage applications to specify requested grant amounts warranted by the work they propose to do. United Fresh Start Foundation will provide outreach to worthy applicants if there are questions around funding levels as the final totals are being calculated.

Why are you expanding the grants to include increasing selection and consumption, and what do they mean?The mission of the United Fresh Start Foundation is to increase children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables and we strongly remain committed to this cause. However, even those with access are not consuming fruits and vegetables, with only 1 in 10 Americans consuming the recommended amounts daily. The Community Innovation Grants Program intend to identify strategies that meet one or all of these goals.

For the purpose of the grant:

  • Access is defined as creating opportunity where it may not otherwise exist.
  • Selection indicates that fresh fruits and vegetables are chosen over less nutritious options.
  • Consumption focuses on the goal of increasing intake once access is established.

Are there limitations on what can be funded?
These grants are exclusively for projects outside the traditional school day. For our school-based work, visit our Salad Bars to Schools initiative and School Foodservice Forum.

Why is there a focus on retail grocery stores and foodservice/restaurants in 2020?
Data shows that low-income Americans primarily shop in traditional brick and mortar stores for food purchases (80% of SNAP benefits are redeemed in grocery or superstores). Additionally, children consume about a quarter of their calories in restaurants, with data showing Americans are increasingly eating more meals outside the home.

Given the statistics around consumption in these two segments, we encourage applicants to identify strategies to work on reaching children and families in restaurants and grocery.

Can Schools Apply?
Yes, but work must be focused on work outside the school day.

Can Small Businesses Apply?
Yes. Small businesses looking to implement innovative strategies to increase access, selection, or consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables are encouraged to apply.

Given the many worthy applicants, we ask that small businesses only apply if they are unable to self-fund this work. Businesses also are strongly encouraged to work with community partners and other like-minded stakeholders.

Can I apply to fund a research project?
Yes. If the research project’s goals align with increasing access, selection, or consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, they will be considered. Please review the grant application first, and contact Mollie Van Lieu, Senior Director of Nutrition Policy if there are specific questions regarding research projects.