There are a variety of local, state, and national grants available that can help offset the costs of hosting the The Learning Kitchen or other Nutrition Ed. Each grant has its own eligibility requirements and application process. Here you will find some suggestions of grants to apply for, tips for continuing your grant search, language surrounding The Learning Kitchen that has been successful in past grant applications, and TLK-based evaluation materials that can be used if required by funders.

Grant Opportunities | Grant Search Tips | Language Suggestions | Evaluation Materials

Grant Opportunities

State/Local Grants:

New England Grassroots Environment Fund

Who is eligible?

Volunteer-driven groups or those with no more than 2 full-time paid staff (or equivalents) doing community-based environmental work in CT, ME, MA, NH, RI or VT with an annual operating budget under $100,000

Seed Grants: Quick grants of $250-$1000 made to small volunteer-driven organizations to launch new environmental projects.

Grow Grants: Grants of $250-$1000 made to small volunteer-driven organizations to build capacity and expand pre-existing environmental programs.

The Vermont Community Foundation

Who is eligible?

Nonprofit or community groups in specific locations throughout Vermont (varies by grant, see below) with 501(c)(3) status or that have a 501(c)(3) group willing to act as a fiscal sponsor.

Spark! Connecting Community: Grants of $500 to $3,000 made to organizations working to build social capital and increase opportunity for low-income youth/families

The Walter Cerf Community Fund: Grants of $500 to $5,000 and one up to $25,000 made to organizations in Addison County, Brandon, or that work statewide to addresses the needs of under-served populations in the areas of are the arts, education, historic preservation, and social services.

Green Mountain Fund: $500-$1000 mini grants or $1,000 to $5,000 sustaining grants to leverage other dollars or a new idea to organizations in Eastern Lamoille County and the neighboring communities of Craftsbury, Greensboro, or Hardwick focused on reducing the opportunity gap.

Northeast Kingdom Fund Grants: $500-$1000 mini grants or $1,000 to $5,000 development grants to organizations in the Northeast Kingdom to help leverage other dollars or new ideas.

Hills and Hollows Fund: $250-$1,500 Hollows Grant or $1,501- $7,400 Hills Grant to organizations in Poultney/Rutland County or its nearby areas looking to create or expand collaborative projects throughout the community.

Ben & Jerry's Foundation

Who is eligible?

Schools, municipalities, local, community-based, Vermont non-profit, 501(c)(3) organizations, or organizations that have a fiscal agent with 501(c)(3) status.

Vermont Community Action Team Program: Grants under $2,000 for a variety of community programs in Vermont, especially those that pay special attention to underserved communities and support basic human needs.

Citizens Bank

Whos is eligible?

Nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) status  serving local residents in areas in which the bank has a branch presence.

Grants to programs that fight hunger and food insecurity, promote financial literacy and/or strengthen community economic development, especially those that directly serve low-income populations, are a year long, can be replicated, and address an unmet need.

The George W. Mergens Foundation

Who is eligible?

Vermont-based, 501(c)(3) organizations that primarily serve youth (birth to adolescence), including organizations that serve families to enhance child welfare.

Grants to Vermont-based organizations serving primarily youth or their families to promote knowledge, creativity, leadership and good health.

The Richard E. and Deborah L. Tarrant Foundation

Who is eligible?

501(c)(3) public charities, government entities, schools and religious organizations that support school-age youth

Community Grants: Grants to organizations in Vermont working to promote youth development, including the achievement gap, job readiness, mentoring, out-of-school time, financial literacy, emergency & transitional housing, and community–based addiction recovery, especially those that have demonstrated a track record of effective solutions.

North Country Federal Credit Union

Who is eligible?

Nonprofit organizations in northern Vermont that address poverty/homelessness/hunger, health/ wellness/disability/elderly, youth/education, animal welfare, or community/arts/culture/social responsibility.

Community Giving: Funding to non-profit organizations in northern Vermont for events, programs and projects that provide individuals with the tools and opportunities they need to overcome challenges and become self-sufficient, contributing members of the community.

National Corporate/Foundation Grants:

Action for Healthy Kids

Who is eligible?

Any K-12 school that proposing to implement at least one physical activity initiative and at least one nutrition initiative.

Game on Grants: Grants of $500-$1000 to schools to implement nutrition and physical activity initiatives, especially those with at least 50% of students eligible for free or reduced meals.

Walmart Community Foundation

Who is eligible?

501(c)(3) or (19) organizations, recognized government entities such as state, county, or city agencies, including law enforcement or fire departments, that are requesting funds exclusively for public purposes, K-12 public or private schools, charter schools, community/junior colleges, state/private colleges or universities, church or other faith-based organizations with a proposed project that benefits the community at large,

Community Grant Program: Grants of $250-$5000 to organizations working within one of their eight areas of funding, one of which is hunger relief and healthy eating.

SC Johnson

Who is eligible?

501(c)(3) organizations based in the United States, or a government entity such as a school, library, or public agency.

Grants to organizations focused on community and economic development, social services, health and well-being, education, and sustainability/environmental programs.

Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

Who is eligible?

Organizations working within the areas of education, family economic stability and childhood health, targeted towards individuals in the United States, India and South Africa

Health & Wellness: Grants up to 25% of project’s budget or 10% of an organization’s total annual operating expenses for organizations working in the education, family economic stability and childhood health sectors, especially those targeted towards children living in urban poverty.

Emeril Lagasse Foundation

Who is eligible?

501(c)(3) organizations with existing school garden and/or culinary education programs.

Small Grants Program: Up to $10,000 in grants for organizations that already have an existing school garden or culinary education program, specifically those that align with the values of appreciation of the source of food, development of life skills through food, nutrition and healthy eating and development of culinary skills.

Grant Search Tips

The grants featured above is not an exhaustive list of all funding opportunities available. To continue your search, here are some places you can look:

  • Local banks/credit unions often have community giving opportunities available. Check their websites for information/postings.

  • Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro provides access to the Foundation Center’s Foundation Directory Online, a comprehensive, regularly updated database of foundations and corporate giving programs

  • The Vermont Directory of Foundations Online allows you to search for grant-makers that have a primary address in Vermont or those that have a geographic focus that includes Vermont.

  • Federal Assistance Listings provides a catalog of federal financial and non-financial assistance programs that benefit the American public.

  • allows you to search and apply for federal government grants

Language Suggestions

Here are some phrases that can be used when writing grant proposals for the Learning Kitchen.

+ Stock Grant Language

The Learning Kitchen is an innovative, hands-on cooking and nutrition education program for low income Vermonters of all ages. Through interactive engagement in the classroom and the kitchen, The Learning Kitchen enhances both community health and individual self-sufficiency by enabling people to develop the practical skills necessary to establish lifelong healthy eating habits.

The Learning Kitchen is designed with three curriculum variations that serve the following groups: middle school-aged youth; young adults who are transitioning into independent living situations; and parents and other adults.

Each series offered requires a host who recruits participants and provides local coordination for the series; a nutrition educator to present the curriculum developed for each age group by Hunger Free Vermont’s network of health education professionals; and the volunteer chefs who provide the cooking instruction portion of the class.

The Learning Kitchen has a proven history of creating positive changes in the health and lifestyles of the thousands of participants we have reached so far. When you consider that each participant will influence the members of their current and future families, the beneficial effect on Vermont’s communities is compounded exponentially!

To measure the success of The Learning Kitchen in improving the nutrition literacy and practical cooking skills of Vermonters, we utilize a number of evaluation tools for each series, including a 16 question pre- and post- survey developed to measure dietary changes of participants, a weekly check-in evaluation to collect information about participants’ behavior in between class sessions, and a subjective evaluation completed by participants, hosts, nutrition educators, and chefs after the final class of each series.

With a curriculum developed by dietitians, The Learning Kitchen (TLK) nutrition education program fills the void left by a decline in nutrition education and life-skill classes offered in schools, and improves upon traditional cooking classes by offering age-appropriate instruction and food-related activities. By helping Vermonters to explore their culinary options and develop nutritious eating habits, The Learning Kitchen strengthens vulnerable families and promotes a lifetime of healthful eating.

The Learning Kitchen class series are community-based, allowing them to take place in the areas where need is greatest, such as low-income housing sites, schools where half of more of the students qualify for free or reduced-price meals, or afterschool programs targeted at low-income youth.

TLK curriculum utilizes the Social Cognitive Theory of Behavior Change, guided by the principle that participants learn from a variety of sources, including environment, behaviors, and peers. Course objectives and activities are based on this principle and cover age-appropriate topics such as: body image, fruit and vegetable consumption, calcium, whole grains, meal planning, and physical activity.

The overall goal of The Learning Kitchen is to provide low-income Vermonters with the tools and education they need to prepare healthful, nourishing food for their families on a tight budget.

In Vermont, school budget slashes erased nutrition and cooking classes, leaving many students without the skills to prepare meals from scratch using fresh, wholesome foods. Some of these students have grown into adults and many are still in school—and without these skills, these Vermonters often turn to highly processed foods. The high cost of these “ready to eat” foods strains already tight food budgets of low-income families pushing them to choose the least expensive options, which are also typically the least nutritious. As a result, Vermont children from low-income households are at significantly higher risk of a host of health and developmental challenges. For example, 32.6% of children eligible for Vermont’s public health insurance are overweight/obese, with elevated risks of diabetes and heart disease. Our program, The Learning Kitchen, equips Vermonters with the knowledge and skills they need to break out of this vicious cycle, developing life-long healthy eating habits.

Evaluation Materials

Sometimes, grant funders will require recipients to submit data or other information demonstrating the outcomes of the program being funding and its success. These materials can be administered throughout The Learning Kitchen then submitted to funders.

  • Food Behavior Checklist - This 16 question outcome evaluation is administered at the first and last class to measure changes in dietary behaviors of participants.  Hosts should provide double-sided color copies on 11" x 17" paper which is folded in half for all participants to ensure consistency.

  • Fruit and Vegetable Inventory - This two-question survey is intended to evaluate positive changes in consumption of fruits and vegetables, specifically. The half sheet is to be distributed to participants after the final class. These evaluations can either be copied and distributed to every participant or the class can be surveyed and respondent numbers can be collected for each response.

  • Subjective Evaluations - These evaluations are administered after the final class to solicit comments and feedback