We are pleased to announce that Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC) is seeking five new organizations who are interested in developing a Community Food Centre (CFC) in their town, city, or Indigenous community.

This is an opportunity to collaborate with, and access resources from, Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC) and join a vibrant and growing community of practice among CFCs across Canada, participating in shared storytelling, training, mentorship, and evaluation in measuring impact.  

We are looking for potential partners who are passionate about creating  “a place for food” in their community that brings people together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food, while contributing to a national movement of community-based food programs and organizations who are working to take action on the systemic and policy issues that contribute to creating poverty, food-insecurity, isolation and diet-related disease in low-income communities.

WHAT IS A COMMUNITY FOOD CENTRE (CFC)?

A Community Food Centre is “a place for food”. At the heart of each CFC is a dignified physical space where people feel welcome, respected and safe, where they can access good food, fun and empowering healthy food programs and the social connections that make for happier, healthier communities.

Community Food Centres work towards five strategic objectives. 

  1. Increase access to healthy food for low-income community members.

  2. Increase skills, knowledge and action around healthy food.

  3. Reduce social isolation and increase connections to a variety of supports.

  4. Increase opportunities for community leadership with programs and the organization

  5. ​Increase knowledge of poverty and food-systems issues and create new opportunities for effective action on systemic issues.

“I feel nourished whenever I come here. I get fed good food and I can talk to nice people. I’ve made new friends here and I feel like I’m part of a community every time I step inside.” 

— Community member, CFC

CFCs provide people with access to high-quality food in a welcoming and respectful environment. CFCs offer multidimensional programming that is locally relevant, but has representation from three key programmatic areas of healthy food access, food skills and civic engagement.  

Community members coming to a CFC may come in the door to get a healthy, delicious meal or buy some fresh produce at an affordable market, then perhaps choose to sign their kids up for an after school food program or get involved in a cooking or gardening program.  In lower-income communities, CFCs offer a gathering place where people can find friends, connection to a variety of supports, and a voice on the issues that matter to them.

“I can be myself here, you walk into the centre and it just feels like hope. It’s this little bubble of sunshine. And being part of that, I can also see the world in a better light.”

— Community member, CFC

WHAT WILL BE PROVIDED

CFCC is looking for five organizations who will, based on their readiness, receive funding within one of two streams.  

  1. Ready to Launch: $75,000 will be provided annually for a three year term for organizations who have the infrastructure, value alignment, programming and capacity in place to launch as a Community Food Centre within the first year of a funding relationship with CFCC. 

  2. Partner in Development:  $75,000 will be provided for a one-year development phase.  These funds can be used for a variety of purposes to enable partners to develop in areas that may be needed to achieve a level of readiness to launch as a CFC.  These activities will be established between CFCC and the successful applicants according to a mutual assessment of what is required to reach this stage. 

    For partners that are successful in reaching these requirements for a partnership at the end of the first year, there will be an opportunity to renew for a longer term at a base level of $75,000 of funding for an additional two years, with the intention of launching as a full Community Food Centre. 

There is no set target of organizations that we're seeking for either stream - all successful applicants could be Ready to Launch or become a Partner in Development, or there may be a mixture of readiness. 

All selected organizations will also access support from CFCC, which may include program planning, evaluation, communications, fundraising, and/or knowledge exchange. They will also be connected to a network of affiliated CFCs and community food organizations working toward similar programmatic and policy goals.

WHO SHOULD APPLY

We anticipate there will be a variety of types of organizations with varying levels of capacity that will apply, hence the two streams explained above. There is also no one kind of organization we work with. 

You might be a larger organization, such as a Community Health Centre or social service agency, or a Band Council that currently operates some food programs but wants to consolidate them under an arm of the organization and pull together programs in one unified space.

Or you might be a smaller food-focused organization operating in a small-to-mid sized community that wants to grow and sees value in and the potential to gain additional support from being connected to a national movement.

Our review process will use a range of criteria to assess which organizations have the best fit with the CFCC mandate and the greatest chance of success in achieving the mission and sustainability. For more information on the partnership criteria see pages 6-7. 

Overall, successful applicants will have demonstrated: 

  • alignment with The Good Food Principles and efforts towards progressive and dignified approaches to addressing food insecurity 

  • commitment to the Community Food Centre Model, the CFC’s strategic objectives (see above),  and the three program areas (food access, food skills and civic engagement) 

In both streams it is important to note that while the core funding provided through this partnership may provide a boost or start the applicant organization will already have to have other significant elements in place to make a CFC viable:  

  • have Registered charitable status or be listed as a qualified organization with the Canada Revenue Agency
  • a physical space where the CFC can be located and identified as such (one building or location which contains a kitchen, dining area, program space, office, access to a garden)
  • existing food programs
  • a vision and desire to do the work
  • funds (or a combination of in-kind and funds) to reach the ~$400,000 minimum annual budget we believe is required to run a solid set of programs at a CFC.  
  • capacity to fundraise locally and participate in CFCC’s national fundraising initiatives

Note: If not all aspects are fully in place at the onset, the key is that the organization can see a pathway toward securing them, and that they bring assets, ambition, enthusiasm and a desire to be a part of a national movement.  

Please review the Community Food Centre backgrounder which provide greater detail around the relationship a CFC will have with CFCC, to ensure your organization has the capacity to meet (or work towards) these expectations. 

PROCESS & TIMELINES

Please read the backgrounder and the linked content in their entirety before submitting an application. We strongly encourage all interested organizations to contact CFCC to discuss their proposal prior to submitting.  

STEP ONE: Submit an Expression of Interest

To be considered for the 2020 Community Food Centre partner selection process, eligible organizations must first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) by Friday January 17, 2020.

Prior to submitting, please ensure that you have read the Community Food Centre backgrounder

To give you an idea of the scope of what we are looking for, the total length of this letter should fall between 2-4 pages. Feel free to use point form or tables where it seems more concise and effective. 

Your Expression of Interest should include:

  • A brief organizational profile including:

    • the history of your organization, location, and the services you currently provide 

    • a description of the community your organization is based in and the populations your organization has historically supported.  Please also speak specifically to the level and types of needs of your community. 

    • an outline of your organization’s existing experience related to community programs addressing food health and poverty. In particular food access (e.g., community meals, food banks), food skills (e.g., community kitchens, cooking groups  gardens, nutrition education), and engagement (e.g.,advocacy campaigns, peer advocacy, public education)  programming . 

    • Your organization's alignment with CFCC’s Good Food Principles and CFC Strategic Objectives (see above).

    • whether you are a Registered Canadian Charity or qualified organization listed with the Canada Revenue Agency 

  • What is your capacity to take this on?  Do you have a physical space where a Food Centre could be located, for example?  Does your organization have resources and staff that would be available in-kind, as well as any experience with fundraising?

  • An overview of your organization’s interest in applying to become a CFC.  Please explain your views around the value of this partnership with CFCC, including what you see as the benefits to your organization and community

  • Who will be the person leading the development of a Community Food Centre at your organization?  If different, who will directly manage the Community Food Centre once up and running (programmatically and operationally)?

  • Who is supporting this proposal within your organization (i.e. senior management, board of directors) and beyond (funders, community leaders, other organizations)

If available, please attach the following in addition to your Expression of Interest:

  • Overview or list of your current programs (a program calendar would suffice)

  • Latest strategic plans

  • Organizational chart

  • Most recent Financial Statements

  • Most recent Annual Report

All questions and Expressions of Interest should be submitted to:

Shannon McCauley
Senior Manager, Partnership Development
shannon@cfccanada.ca
416-531-8826 ext. 263

STEP TWO: Submit an Application & Supplemental Documents

Please note that only those organizations who have been shortlisted will be required to complete a more thorough application. This template will be provided by CFCC upon notification of being shortlisted, however will directly reflect what is included the Partner Selection Guide attached to this document. 

DUE DATES

Expression of Interest Due

Friday January 17, 2020

Applicants notified if they have been shortlisted, and provided with the full application template

Monday February 3, 2020

Site visits with shortlisted applicants

January - March 2020

Final Applications Due

Friday February 28, 2020

Final Decisions

Friday March 27, 2020

Download this whole package.