Whole Cities Fast Facts

Whole Cities Fast Facts

Whole Cities Foundation collaborates with community-led initiatives to broaden access to fresh, healthy food and high quality nutrition education.


Whole Cities Foundation, a nonprofit established by Whole Foods Market in 2014, partners with U.S. neighborhood efforts to build thriving local food systems and grow community health. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - 8:35am

CAMPAIGN: Whole Cities Foundation

CONTENT: Multimedia with summary

Whole Cities Foundation Partnerships

  • Whole Cities Foundation has 5 focus cities: Detroit, MI; Newark, NJ; New Orleans, LA; Jackson, MS; and the Greater Englewood neighborhood in Chicago, IL
  • In 2016, Whole Cities launched the Community First Grant Program and, through partnerships with passionate Team Members, expanded from 16 to 41 cities
  • Whole Cities has built a total of 71 community partnerships

Whole Cities grows local food systems through partnerships with:

  • 24 Community gardens
  • 12 Urban farms
  • 8 Mobile markets
  • 7 Agriculture skills development programs
  • 7 Farmers’ markets
  • 5 Pop-up produce stands
  • 3 Healthy cooking classes
  • 3 SNAP Incentive programs
  • 2 Collaborative community health partnerships

Let’s Talk Food

Whole Cities also has its very own signature medical nutrition and culinary education program, Let’s Talk Food, led by Dr. Akua Woolbright. The program aims to create supportive environments where everyone is inspired to transform their health for a lifetime. Let’s Talk Food nutrition education programs are offered free of charge in:

  • Detroit, MI
  • Englewood, Chicago, IL
  • Newark, NJ

Let’s Talk Food hosts plant based nutrition, healthy cooking, and wellness classes, as well as special events including: 28-day healthy living challenges, 2-day health summits and celebrity-studded events that inspire people to take charge of their own health and discover the power of food as medicine.

Signature events draw crowds by the hundreds including:

  • Shred Detox Challenge: February 2016, 800+ participants
  • Food As Medicine Summit: June 2016, 400+ participants
  • 28-Day Healthy Living Challenge Kick-off Event: February 2017, 700+ participants 

Community First Grant Program

The Community First Grant Program is designed to support Whole Foods Market Team Members who are building partnerships with community-led local food system projects in neighborhoods with limited access.  Whole Cities offers support and resources to selected Team Members and provides $5,000 grants to their qualified community partners.

  • In 2016, 53 Team Members submitted applications recommending community partners.
  • In 2016, Whole Cities awarded a total of $168,000 in grant funding to 32 Community Partners in 28 cities.
  • $275,000 in funds have been dedicated for the program in 2017.

Englewood Grant

In September of 2016, Whole Cities Foundation, in partnership with the Resident Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E.), awarded $34,000 in grants to five community-led, fresh, healthy food access projects voted on by the community. For the first time, Englewood residents had a central role in the grant-making process in their own neighborhood. R.A.G.E., Whole Cities, and a Task Force of nine Englewood leaders, including elected officials, entrepreneurs, church leaders, academics, and health advocates, collaborated on an innovative community voting process that put the power in the hands of the people of Englewood.

Newark Grant

Whole Cities partnered with Whole Foods Market Newark to create a grant opportunity serving all five wards of the city. On March 1st, in celebration of the Newark store opening, eleven organizations were chosen by a community advisory council comprised of leaders from diverse sectors across the city. Grants ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 were awarded to community-led efforts to grow the local food system. A total of $145,000 was awarded, serving mostly community gardens and urban farms!

For more information, visit wholecitiesfoundation.org