Food Grant Program

2019 Grant Guidelines

Statistics from Feeding America indicate that 44,960 people, or 10% of Santa Barbara County’s population, are food insecure, and for children under 18 years of age, the food insecurity rate is as high at 18.5% (Children’s Scorecard, 2017). Food insecurity describes a household’s inability to provide enough food for every person to live an active and healthy life. Food insecurity is one way to measure and assess the risk of hunger. In the United States, 1 in 8 people currently struggle with hunger. As of 2016, 41.2 million Americans live in food-insecure households, including 28.3 million adults and 12.9 million children. Yet, the majority of individuals who are food insecure do not live in poverty, and the majority of people who live in poverty are not food insecure. Although the preceding may seem counterintuitive, the reasons may be varied, but in general, those who fall into poverty have greater access to government assistance programs than those who are above this threshold.

Food insecurity can have wide impacts on both individuals and families. Such impacts include:

In order to more adequately address the different approaches required by critical areas of human need, the Santa Barbara Foundation has established four separate program areas of funding: health care, behavioral health, food, and shelter & safety. The timeline for the grant cycle related to the food program area will take place from mid-July through December. Applicants must select the area of funding that most closely represents the mission of their organization. Organizations are not eligible to apply to more than one program area.



Food Grants will be available to nonprofit organizations directly providing programs that are addressing food insecurity. Funding can be used for operating expenses and/or costs related to sustaining or expanding service delivery programs to meet demonstrated demand.

In summary, funded organizations will:



Priority will be given to organizations that:


Funding Amounts and Duration

The maximum award for Food grants is $50,000. The grant review panel may reduce or increase award amounts at its discretion. The grant period is up to one year from the award date. In lieu of a final report for this work, we plan to host a convening in 2020 with other recipients to learn and share your work. If your organization received a Core Support for Basic Needs Grant in 2018, the corresponding final report is independent of this grant application.


Grant Limitations

Food Grants are not intended for:

Please visit the Eligibility Criteria & FAQs for a complete list of what the Foundation does not fund.



Eligibility Requirements



ONLINE Application Process

Santa Barbara Foundation utilizes an online application. Please follow the instructions below to access, complete and submit your application to the foundation.



Important Dates

 August 15, 2019 Application Deadline
December 2019 Funds Awarded
December 16, 2020 Final Report Deadline



Contact Information

For questions regarding the Food program area and funding eligibility, please contact Pedro Paz, Director of Grantmaking, (805) 963-1873 or

For technical assistance, please contact Deanna Vallejo, Community Engagement Associate, (805) 963-1873 or