Community Innovation Grants Program Application Period Now Open

The United Fresh Start Foundation’s 2020 Community Innovation Grants Program application period is now open. United Fresh says the program funds initiatives that aim to increase children’s access, selection, and consumption of fresh produce.

The 2020 program is focused on supporting initiatives and research from organizations including not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 organizations, schools, universities, small businesses, and others with projects that align with Foundation’s mission.

“We’re proud of the investment we’ve been able to make in communities over the last three years, granting $100,000 in projects that get fresh produce to kids,” said Phil Muir, President & CEO, Muir Copper Canyon Farms and Chairman, United Fresh Start Foundation. “This year’s Community Innovation Grants Program takes our investment one step further by focusing on the need for innovation and new strategies to increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables for children and their families.”

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“With only 1 in 10 Americans consuming the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables, we are seeking new strategies that not only secures access but also ensures that once available, children and parents are choosing and ultimately consuming fresh produce,” said United Fresh President & CEO Tom Stenzel. “This program complements the work we do in schools and enables us to nurture an environment where kids have access to produce everywhere they live, learn and play.”

A total of $50,000 in funds through the Community Innovation Grants Program will be awarded this cycle. A minimum of five grants will be awarded, in amounts warranted by applicants. Applications will be accepted through December 1, 2019, and recipients will be announced at the 2020 FreshStart Conference, January 14-16 in Tucson, AZ.

For the purpose of the grant:

  • Access is defined as creating an opportunity where it may not otherwise exist.
  • Selection indicates that fresh fruits and vegetables are chosen over less nutritious options.
  • Consumption focuses on the goal of increasing intake once access is established.

Organizations interested in applying for one of the 2020 grants may submit their application online at


Eligible organizations can include not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 organizations, schools, universities, small businesses, and others with innovative projects that align with our mission and the Community Innovation Grants objectives to increase access, selection and consumption outside the school day.

Applicants should present projects designed to be sustainable beyond the duration of the 2020 grant, and serve as a model or be able to scale-up following the initial investment.

Special consideration will be given to projects that work to address barriers to fresh produce access, selection, and consumption in retail and foodservice/restaurant environments.

For more information about the Community Innovation Grants Program, contact Mollie Van Lieu, United Fresh’s Senior Director, Nutrition Policy, at 202-303-3403.