The FruitGuys Community Fund provides grants of up to $5,000 to small American farms and agricultural nonprofits for sustainability projects that have large positive impacts on the environment, local food systems, and farm diversity.

The FruitGuys Community Fund, established in 2012 as a non-profit fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives, grew out of The Farm Steward Program at The FruitGuys, a family-run office fresh fruit and healthy snack provider based in South San Francisco. Between 2008 and 2011, the Farm Steward Program gave grants to small farms for environmental sustainability efforts. In 2013, the Community Fund awarded its first five grants to farms in California and Pennsylvania. We’ve now awarded more than $214,000 to 54 sustainable small farms across the country. To learn more about the farms and projects selected, please see our Alumni Grantees page. 

Our mission is to support small independent American farms in their efforts for greater environmental and economic health, community engagement, and advocacy that supports sustainable agriculture. We believe that small farms are catalysts for environmental and economic self sufficiency, sustainability, and food access. Independent farmers can lead their communities as models of self-reliance and land stewardship. It is our vision that “from a small seed, the world can be sustained.” This underlies our core belief in funding projects that make an impact beyond the farm, which is valuable not just for the farmer but for the world at large.

Grants in amounts ranging from $2,000-$5,000 will be awarded in April 2019. Projects to be considered should help small-scale farms operate more sustainably, both environmentally and economically, as well as strengthen community outreach. Some examples of sustainability projects may include (but are not limited to): planting of cover crops to help with water management and soil fertility; planting pollinator-attracting perennials and/or installing beehives; installation of bat boxes or owl boxes to attract predators and keep rodent numbers down; installation of high tunnels or hoop houses to extend the growing season.


Up to twenty (20) finalists will be invited to submit full applications. Up to fifteen (15) of the 20 finalists will receive funding.

1. Applicant is an owner/operator of the farm or has long-term, legal access to the land. If farming on leased land, a letter of support from the landowner specifying length of the lease agreement must be provided with the grant application.

2. Farm is small to medium-sized as determined by acreage in agricultural production. We consider farms with more than 300 acres in agricultural production large, and therefore ineligible to apply.  

3. Community outreach. Farmer will engage in community outreach, education, or policy advocacy surrounding sustainable agriculture. Engagement must be described in the grant proposal. Up to 10% of the total grant amount awarded may be used to support efforts for community outreach, education, and/or advocacy (see question 6 of the grant application, below).

Note: We are not currently funding past grantees. If you have already been awarded a FruitGuys Community Grant, you will not be considered.


- Land purchases

- Costs associated with labor

- Projects that require a percentage of the award be used for consultants or administration

- The applicant farm must be an established working farm that is looking to improve operations

- Requests that are dependent upon receiving funding from a larger grant


1. Farm is located within 200 miles of San Francisco, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Seattle, WA,
Denver, CO, Salt Lake City, UT, Phoenix, AZ, St. Louis, MO, Philadelphia, PA, Chicago, IL,
Boston, MA, Austin, TX, Dallas, TX, Atlanta, GA, Tampa, FL, or Orlando, FL.
This is preference but NOT a requirement. We still encourage farms outside of these locations
to apply

2. Sustainability project(s) focused on one of the areas mentioned in our Sustainable Farming Manifesto, including but not limited to:

- Water Conservation (for example, drip irrigation & water catchment)
- Natural Pest Control (for example, owl or bat boxes)
- Pollination (for example, beehives & pollinator hedgerows)
- Soil Health (for example, cover crops & hoop houses)
- Energy Efficiency (for example, renewable energy options like solar, geothermal & wind)

3. Farm participates in some efforts to increase low-income consumers’ access to food.


Request for Letters of Intent (LOI) available on website: Friday, December 7, 2018

LOIs due: Friday, January 11, 2019 11:59 p.m. PST

Finalists will be notified by Monday, February 4, 2019 to provide a supplementary application.

Supplementary Application is due: Monday, February 25, 2019 11:59 p.m. PST

2019 Grantees will be notified on or before Friday, April 5, 2019


Grant funds will be awarded in two installments: The first, equaling 75% of the grant awarded, will be sent to the applicant in April 2019. The remaining 25% of funds will be dispersed following submission of a final progress report, due by December 9, 2019, and successful completion of the project. Three progress reports are required: An interim progress report (1-2 pages) with updates and recent photos must be submitted by August 23, 2019; a final progress report to be submitted by December 9, 2019; and an alumni update report, due one year from the grant receipt, must be submitted by April 26, 2020. Reporting forms will be emailed to all grant recipients after grants are announced.

Grantees agree to co-market using existing marketing channels including but not limited to social media, websites, etc.

The FruitGuys and The FruitGuys Community Fund have the right to use the grantee's name, image, etc. for promotional purposes.

Incomplete applications, or those not meeting the requirements stated above, will not be reviewed. Questions may be sent to