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Food for Climate Solutions

Addressing climate change while fostering a thriving regional food system

Application period is now closed.

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 organizations that are addressing farmland stewardship, increasing the sustainability of farm businesses, supporting farmers, strengthening the regional food system infrastructure, and promoting the adoption of climate-resilient, organic, and regenerative farming practices. We will prioritize opportunities for organizations serving historically excluded communities given the historic and systemic barriers they face to land access, access to healthy food, and sustainable farm enterprises, as well as being disproportionately burdened by the negative impacts of climate change.

Funding Priorities

Our funding priorities include investing in organizations to:

Support Small Farmers

  • Invest in organizations that offer comprehensive support to small farmers, enabling them to establish sustainable farm enterprises.
  • Emphasize accelerating the learning curve for the next generation of new farmers through training, technical assistance, financing, and business acumen support.
  • Facilitate pathways to ownership or shared ownership of farmland, fostering long-term stability and growth.
  • Promote apprenticeship, mentorship, and networking or peer-to-peer opportunities for farmers.

Adopt organic, Regenerative and Climate-resilient Farming Practices

  • Support organizations that provide education, training, technical assistance, and access to best practices for farmers interested in transitioning to organic and regenerative practices.
  • Support programs that facilitate the adoption of climate-resilient practices in agriculture.
  • Encourage farmers to pursue certification for organic and regenerative farming practices.

Develop Regional Infrastructure

  • Invest in the creation of regional infrastructure that benefits farmers at a local and regional level.
  • Prioritize projects that establish sustainable market pathways for farmers’ products, facilitating access to consumers.
  • Develop shared resources that can be more affordably and efficiently accessed by multiple producers (such as cold storage, wash/pack facilities, etc.).

Support Local, Non-commercial Food Growing

  • Foster hyper-local, non-commercial food growing and sourcing projects.
  • Support activities such as backyard gardening, gleaning, and community gardening, which promote self-sufficiency and community resilience.

Funding Level

The Food for Climate Solutions Fund offers grants ranging from $5,000 to $75,000 with a term of one year. We prefer to award unrestricted grants, allowing organizations the flexibility to allocate funds as needed. These grants can be used for general operating support, including salaries, technical assistance, services, and programs, or any other expenses that align with the Fund’s priorities. Additionally, organizations may use the funds to support specific projects that align with the Fund’s priorities if preferred. Our funding aims to complement, rather than replace, the role of the public sector.

In addition, TRFF will consider a variety of factors when making funding decisions. This may include the organization’s mission, prioritizing organizations led by historically excluded communities and serving historically excluded farmers, financial need, and alignment with our values.

TRFF’s Food for Climate Solutions Program will not fund:

  • Farmland purchase or land acquisition for individual farmers.
  • Farmworker political or union organizing.
  • Litigation.
  • Projects or programs that are national in scope.
  • We will not make grants to individuals or for-profit companies.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • The work takes place within Western Washington.
  • Applicants must qualify as one of the following entities:
    • A nonprofit or community organization that qualifies as a tax-exempt public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or equivalent (including fiscally sponsored projects).
    • Recognized governmental entities including state, county, or city agencies such as conservation districts, and Tribal entities.

2023 Funding Process

Step 1: Application 

Organizations that meet the requirements are invited to submit an initial application to introduce the organization and the proposed work. Applications will be accepted via our online portal starting July 17 through August 18, 2023, by 5 pm Pacific Standard Time.

  • For organizations requesting $5,000 to $10,000, grant decisions will be made based on the initial application and announced by the end of September 2023.
  • Organizations with requests above $10,000 will be notified on September 28 about the status of their application. Based on our initial review of the applications, some organizations will be invited to proceed to step 2 of the process.

Step 2: Request for Supplemental Information or Full Proposals

Organizations that are invited to Step 2 of the process will receive a request for Supplemental Information or a full proposal, including financial information. The Supplemental Information will give us a fuller sense of the organization and the work described in the initial application. This information is due by October 16, 2023, by 5 pm Pacific Standard Time.

Key Dates and Deadlines

  • Application Open Date: Monday, July 17, 2023
  • Application Close Date: Friday, August 18, 2023, by 5 pm Pacific Standard Time
  • Grants Under $10,000 Awarded and Announced: September 27, 2023
  • UPDATED: Supplemental Information Deadline for Grant request above $10,000: October 16, 2023, by 5 pm Pacific Standard Time
  • Grants of $10,001 – $75,000 Grant Awarded and Announced: November 20, 2023


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