Becoming a Community Food Centre

Community Food Centres Canada assesses the possibility of new partnerships on an ongoing basis. However, given the resource intensity of these relationships, we can only enter into up to three of these partnerships per year, with a goal of developing five to nine new Community Food Centres between 2014 and 2017.
You'll find our partnership criteria and information on our partner selection process below. If you feel that you meet most or all of the criteria and you represent an organization that's interested in exploring a partnership with CFCC, please fill out our Questionnaire for Interested Organizations and email it to Program Manager Bronywn Whyte. Once you've submitted your application, someone at CFCC will be in touch to find out more about your organization.
The criteria listed below are intended to give you an idea of what we look for in partner organizations. Please note that meeting all criteria does not necessarily guarantee partnership. For a variety of reasons, we may also select partners who do not meet each of the following criteria. Depending on the balance of factors, we may be able to be flexible on some criteria. Organizations that don't require a full financial partnership from CFCC because they already have significant, sustainable resources in place or because they have a physical site already outfitted to the needs of the CFC program mix bring significant assets to the partnership. (The availability of a physical site that can be used without major investment is an important asset. However, given the one-time nature of capital investment vs. the perpetual need for operating funds, it is less of an asset then a plausible and sustainable resource plan.)


Criteria for CFC partner organizations

•    The organization has its own board and charitable status
•    The organization has existing, trusting relationships with members of low-income communities, and would be able to offer CFC programming that is targeted at low-income communities (roughly 80% or more of participants served are low-income, established by means other than means-testing)
•    The organization can demonstrate community need and support (not duplicating other local initiatives, no significant risks or opposition)
•    The organization has or can secure the physical space required for programs, including a commercial kitchen, dining/meeting space, offices, and a garden close by
•    The organization embraces the shared Community Food Centre vision, strategic objectives and principles, and can demonstrate that the board, senior staff and other key stakeholders are supportive of the mission direction
•    The organization is committed to developing programming representation in the areas of access, skills, and engagement
•    The organization is located in a community that can sustain a CFC (likely a mid-size to major city, though there may be exceptions to this rule)
•    The organization agrees to adopt the Community Food Centre identity for the initiative, and to brand the space as such
•    The organization has a track record of visionary, effective leadership
•    The organization has staff infrastructure that is (or could be, with added CFC resources) robust enough to support the project
•    The organization is willing to assign in-kind support to the project, proportionate to its size (i.e.: assigning existing staff, providing bookkeeping or access to space and equipment)
•    The organization is committed to implementing evaluation tools and contributing statistics to a shared evaluation framework that will allow CFCC to demonstrate collective impact across CFCs
•    The organization is willing to participate in the capacity-building and/or collaborative fundraising framework necessary to build long-term financial sustainability, and ultimately to take on a significant local responsibility to resource the project
•   The organization understands and is prepared to enter into a collaborative meeting and decision-making framework with CFCC involving regular meetings and a program/organizational development process based on values alignment and consensus
•    In larger organizations, there is a willingness to a) adopt the CFC as a key initiative, including making any necessary adjustments to the larger organization to ensure the CFC fits in — and doesn't compete — with other programs; and b) provide support at senior levels while allowing enough breathing room for the CFC Director or Manager to exercise leadership 


Selection process

1. If your organization meets most of the above criteria, please download and fill out our Questionnaire for Interested Organizations and email the completed document to Program Manager Bronwyn Whyte. Please note that this is not an application process. Please direct any questions about the questionnaire to Bronwyn Whyte at 416 531 8826 ext. 222.

2. After the questionnaire is submitted, CFCC staff will follow-up to learn more about your organization. After several initial conversations, if both parties are interested in moving forward, CFCC staff will aim to visit the organization’s community to meet with key staff and board members, tour the physical space and connect with key stakeholders. 

3. The final step of the selection process involves the submission of a detailed application by the interested organization. CFCC will receive and evaluate all applications, taking into consideration information gathered during initial conversations and site visits, and notify applicants in a timely manner. 

Please note: Though we strive to run the application and selection process on a calendar year basis, there are many factors that may delay or speed up the process. We encourage all interested organizations to submit a completed questionnaire so  we can keep your organization’s information on file to be reviewed in the early stages of the next selection phase. 

Questions? Contact Program Manager Bronwyn Whyte at


Watch this introduction video for more about our work and our partners.