Whole Cities Awards 10 Newark Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grants To Grow Community Health

$198,950 Invested in Locally Led Initiatives Spanning All Five Wards
May 29, 2024 10:00 AM ET
Campaign: Whole Cities

NEWARK, N.J., May 29, 2024 /3BL/ - Whole Cities, a Whole Founds Market Foundation project dedicated to broadening community access to fresh food and nutrition education, announced today that 10 community-led nonprofit organizations in Newark, New Jersey have been awarded up to $20,000 each through the Newark Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant.

In 2017, Whole Cities started the Newark Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant program to advance the city’s long-term healthy food access solutions and improve community health. Since then, the project has awarded more than $1 million to 34 community-directed organizations throughout Newark’s five wards and has provided financial backing for additional opportunities shaped by the goals and requests of its grant partners. Grantees have included community gardens, urban farms, farmers’ markets, mobile markets, healthy cooking classes, nutrition education programs, agriculture-skills development programs, and a SNAP incentive project.

“No one knows the barriers to healthy food access, the solutions that are most effective, or the support that is needed to implement these ideas better than those who live it every day,” said Dianna Purcell, Director of Programs at Whole Cities. “So, Whole Cities champions locally led, locally supported and often overlooked organizations that are spearheading homegrown solutions.”

This year, the following 10 Newark organizations were awarded grants averaging $19,895 each for a total of $198,950:

Giving One Tenth Community Garden, Greater Newark Conservancy Inc, Ironbound Community Corporation, Kids in Business, Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District, Newark Science and Sustainability, Inc., Project U.S.E., STEAM URBAN, Ubuntu Permaculture Mission Inc., and Urban League of Essex County.

“With Whole Cities’ support, we have been able to update our infrastructure, allowing us to facilitate and augment our onsite food production,” said Brian Morrell, Director of Development at Greater Newark Conservancy, a six-time grantee. “Recent funding from Whole Cities enabled us to expand our outreach into more areas of the city. Now, we will be collaborating with community gardens and urban farms across Newark, helping to strengthen their operations and marketing to city neighborhoods.”

Whole Cities reviews applications in conjunction with the Newark Community Advisory Council, a panel of engaged Newark leaders who have lived and/or worked in Newark for an average of 24 years. Grantees are determined by the sustainability of their projects and their alignment with Whole Cities’ mission.

“Reviewing Newark Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grants was more than just an opportunity to read individual and organizational inspirations,” said Chesha Hodge, a new addition to the Newark Community Advisory Council. “This was an intricate review of the blueprint that launches steadfast initiatives which fuel Newarkers every day.

Whole Cities has also supported deep community engagement through grants for healthy food access in Detroit, Mich.; New Orleans, La.; Jackson, Miss.; and Greater Englewood, a neighborhood of Chicago, Ill. These commitments were in addition to the project’s ongoing Community First Grant program, which has reached more than 150 cities in the U.S. and Canada.

For more information on Whole Cities’ Newark Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant program, including a list of past grant partners, visit wholecitiesfoundation.org/grants/newark-nj. The next grant application window will open in early 2025.



Whole Cities is a project of Whole Foods Market Foundation, an independent, nonprofit organization founded by Whole Foods Market based in Austin, Texas. Whole Cities has worked alongside more than 250 community-based organizations in more than 150 cities in the U.S. and Canada to improve neighborhood health through collaborative partnerships, nutrition education, and broader access to fresh, healthy food. Through vibrant grant programs, Whole Cities supports community gardens, urban farms, pop-up produce stands, agriculture skills development, farmers’ markets, mobile markets, healthy cooking classes and other community-directed initiatives to build thriving local food systems and improve health. For more information on Whole Cities and its programs, visit wholecities.org. For ongoing news and updates, follow Whole Foods Market Foundation on Facebook, Instagram, X, or LinkedIn.

Media Contact:

Nikki Newman Sobhani, Senior Communications Manager