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Food for Climate Solutions

Addressing climate change while fostering a thriving regional food system

Food for Climate Solutions is a newly launched program area focused on Western Washington. We will begin accepting applications for funding in July 2023.

Food is fundamental, and how we grow it can play a big role in mitigating the effects of climate change. As Project Drawdown notes, the food, agriculture, and land use sector are crucial to addressing climate change. This sector contributes ~24% of greenhouse gas emissions, making it a key pathway to pursue significant reductions in emissions.  By improving our land use and agricultural practices, we maximize the potential for land-based carbon sequestration, helping to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. In addition, growing more healthy food locally will improve affordability and access, foster community vitality and connection, and reduce reliance on food grown elsewhere through industrial farming.

Our vision is to address the negative impacts of climate change while fostering a thriving local and regional food system and more equitable access to local, healthy, and sustainably grown food.  To do this, we will invest in local organizations that are addressing farmland stewardship, increasing the sustainability of farm businesses, supporting farmers, strengthening the regional food system, and promoting the adoption of climate-resilient, organic, and regenerative farming practices. We will prioritize opportunities for organizations serving Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) as well as other excluded communities given the historic and systemic barriers they face to land access and sustainable farm enterprises.

Funding Priorities

Support to Small Farmers

We support organizations that help small farmers develop sustainable farm enterprises and accelerate the learning curve for the next generation of new farmers through training, technical assistance, financing, and business acumen supports, pathways to land ownership or shared ownership of farmland, apprenticeship, mentorship, and networking or peer-to-peer opportunities for farmers.

Adoption of organic and regenerative farming practices

We support organizations that provide education, training, technical assistance, and access to best practices for farmers who want to convert to organic or regenerative practices, pursue certification or adopt climate-resilient practices.

Regional Infrastructure

We support organizations that offer infrastructure for farmers at a regional level which provides sustainable market pathways for their products or develops resources that can be more affordably and efficiently shared across multiple producers (such as cold storage, wash/pack facilities, etc.).

Local, non-commercial food growing and sharing

We support organizations that foster hyper-local, non-commercial food growing and sourcing such as backyard gardening, gleaning, and community gardening.

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Today, 89% of Washington’s farms are small, but generate only 6.3% of the state’s total agriculture value. TRFF aims to play a role in shifting these statistics and addressing climate change through this focus.
Our vision is to address the negative impacts of climate change while fostering a thriving regional food system and more equitable access to local, healthy, and sustainably grown food.

Guiding Principles

Getting into farming, accessing land, and establishing a successful and sustainable farm or food enterprise is challenging. This is especially true for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) who face unique barriers and challenges rooted in systemic inequities and racism, both current and historic. Today, only 4% of farmers in Washington State are BIPOC and few of the resources for the farming community are designed for and by BIPOC. Our funding prioritizes opportunities for BIPOC farmers and programs that are designed with equity and cultural competency as core ingredients.

Climate change is already impacting how and where food is grown. We believe we must increasingly adopt farming practices, or sustain farming practices, that replenish rather than deplete the land. Small farms are especially poised to do this.

Government plays a huge role in the agriculture and food sectors, from subsidies and land use policies, to ingredient labeling and workforce standards, research, and grants for equipment, for example. We seek opportunities that leverage the existing investments of government, fill gaps in public sector funding or address disproportionate access to public resources, and innovate where it is hard for government to do so.

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