Strengthening Community Capacity to Advocate for Healthy Food


PLEASE NOTE: The application deadline for this opportunity has passed.
Applications were due: October 27, 2023


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Food security, or more specifically consistent access to affordable and nutritious food, has significant bearing on physical, mental, and cognitive health outcomes. Despite North Carolina being a leading agricultural state with a robust farm and food community, more than 1.2 million people (1 in 8) who live in our state are food insecure. And many populations and communities are disproportionately impacted.

Increasing access to healthy food requires addressing the systemic issues that allow food insecurity to persist. Therefore, the purpose of this funding opportunity is to support community-based organizations with deep connections and accountability to the communities they serve in expanding their ability to advocate for systems and policy change, resulting in increased access to healthy food for those most food insecure.


Available Funding
As part of our overall commitment to increase access to healthy food for those most food insecure, and to grow the network of community organizations working to achieve this, we are issuing a three-year, up to $300,000 ($100,000 per year, per organization) grant opportunity. This opportunity will support up to 14 locally focused, community-based organizations to enhance their ability to affect the policy and systemic changes needed to address the root causes of food insecurity for those most impacted.



Organization Size

  • There are no limitations or minimum requirements with regard to an entities’ operating budget. Organizations of all sizes are eligible to apply.

Organization Type

  • Nonprofit organization that is exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is classified as “not a private foundation” under Section 509(a).

- OR-

  • Fiscally sponsored program – A group or project with a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization acting as a fiscal sponsor. Please note that the fiscal sponsor is considered the grantee and is responsible for all legal aspects of the project including reporting and financial management.

- OR-

  • Coalitions – Applications involving more than one group or organization are welcome; however, one organization will be the recipient of the grant and must be an established 501(c)(3) nonprofit or fiscally sponsored organization. Organizations and coalitions of any size are eligible to apply if the other eligibility criteria have been met.

Organization Characteristics

The following are required to be considered for funding.

  • Addressing food insecurity – eligible organizations will serve communities and populations impacted by high rates of food insecurity and lack of access to healthy food.
  • Focused, even moderately, on local policy and systems change – eligible organizations will have specific policy and/or systems change priorities to address food insecurity and break down barriers to healthy food.
  • Grounded in community – eligible organizations will be deeply connected to community, such as:
    • Organizational priorities center the community in which they are working.
    • Inclusion of community members in the organization’s decision-making and operations.

Please note: Current and past Blue Cross NC Foundation grantees are welcome to apply.



Activity Date(s)
Funding opportunity released and online application form opens September 13, 2023
Submit questions about the funding opportunity By September 27, 2023
Answers to prospective applicant questions posted on the Foundation website By October 6, 2023
Applications due By October 27, 2023
Finalist decision notifications By January 8, 2024
Finalist conversations (virtual) By February 29, 2024
Grantees selected and notified By April 3, 2024
Grant start date May 1, 2024
Grant end date April 30, 2027



Pre-Submission Inquiries
Organizations were invited to submit questions by September 27, 2023. An updated FAQ addressing those inquiries can be found here.

Learn More and Apply

  • Download the full funding opportunity.
  • Download the updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).