Whole Cities Awards 64 Community First Grants To Amplify Locally Led Healthy Food Access Solutions

Over $575k Invested in the U.S and Canada
Nov 28, 2023 9:00 AM ET
Campaign: Whole Cities
collage of Community First grant awardees displaying their food

AUSTIN, Texas, November 28, 2023 /3BL/ - Whole Cities, a project dedicated to broadening community access to fresh food and nutrition education, announced today that it will award 64 Community First Grants to nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and Canada. This year’s grantees will receive an average of $9,000 each for a total investment of over $575k. Launched in 2016, the annual Community First Grant Program supports local partnerships between Whole Foods Market Team Members (employees) and nonprofits with programs focusing on long-term fresh, healthy food access and community health. Team Members nominate eligible, locally led nonprofit organizations for the grant. Throughout the grant year, they volunteer and participate in additional opportunities to support their partner’s goals.

“As residents of their communities, Team Members can make a valuable difference right where they are,” said Dianna Purcell, Director of Programs at Whole Cities. “Team Members participating in the Community First Grant Program have identified partners whose meaningful work improve lives in their own city and whose missions align with our goals to broaden long-term access to fresh, healthy food and nutrition education.”

The 2023 – 2024 Community First Grant partners span 49 cities in 21 U.S. states, Washington D.C., and one Canadian province. Their projects include:

  • 18 urban farms
  • 17 community gardens
  • 9 nutrition education and healthy cooking classes
  • 7 agricultural skills development programs
  • 5 farmer’s markets, co-ops and grocery stores
  • 4 mobile markets
  • 3 SNAP and WIC incentive programs
  • 1 pop-up market and CSA

“Relationships are at the heart of the Community First Grant,” said Purcell. “The program helps foster and evolve relationships between Whole Foods Market Team Members and their local nonprofit partners to support sustainable solutions that advance neighborhood health.”

Since launching the Community First Grant Program eight years ago, Whole Cities has awarded 406 grants to 228 organizations in 149 cities, investing over $2.7M. Nearly 240 Team Members from over 140 Whole Foods Market stores and every store support office has participated.

For more information on Whole Cities’ Community First Grant Program, visit wholecitiesfoundation.org.



Whole Cities is a project of Whole Kids Foundation, an independent, nonprofit organization founded by Whole Foods Market based in Austin, Texas. Whole Cities has worked alongside more than 290 community-based organizations in more than 130 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 wholecitiesfoundation.org. For ongoing news and updates, follow Whole Cities on FacebookInstagramTwitter or LinkedIn.


Media Contact: 
Chanta Williams, Interim Executive Director 
Whole Cities