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Grow Local Food Fund

The Grow Local Food Fund (GLFF) is a branch of the Whole Foods Co-op GIVE! Program. GLFF is a grant that provides funding for projects that build the resiliency of our local food economy. Our current focus supports these categories: emerging growers, emerging food producers, established growers, and established food producers in our community.

The GLFF grant is for food producers in the following counties that touch Lake Superior in Minnesota or Wisconsin, including Aitkin, Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Carlton, Cook, Douglas, Iron, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, Sawyer, St. Louis, and Washburn.

Since it began in 2021, the GLFF has provided a total of $163,754 to 26 local food producers and farmers. 


2024 GIVE! Grow Local Food Fund applications are closed. Check back in January 2025 for the next application round.

We’re looking to fund…

  • New projects that help a farm or food producer scale its offerings
  • Improvements to facilities or purchases that increase productivity or efficiency
  • The purchase of new equipment, materials, and more
  • Long-term investments

The Selection Process and Criteria

Whole Foods Co-op assembles a Selection Committee with members representing different roles and perspectives in our community. Below are the criteria for the grant application scoring process. Each section includes a percentage for how much weight is given. The Grow Local Food Fund prioritizes the following:

Grow Local Food Fund Grant Details

  • The maximum grant request is $7000.
  • Download a fillable W-9 PDF here. Recipients will need to print, sign, and send to complete the process.
  • Applicants of past grant cycles who were not awarded funding are encouraged to reapply but must complete the application again.
  • 501c3 non-profit organizations are excluded from applying but encouraged to apply for our Non-Profit Support Program. Applications will open again in late summer 2024 for 2025.
  • At this time, producers of wellness supplements and pet food are excluded.


Entrepreneur Fund

Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association

Land Stewardship Project

Marbleseed – Formerly known as the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES).

Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Minnesota Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)

North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE)

USDA Farming Resources

Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

Applicant Tips

If you are currently working on an application, here are a few tips on successful applications:
  • Keep your answers clear and succinct.
  • Demonstrate a clear need for your project or goal.
  • Articulate the necessity of your project and provide quantifiable outcomes.
  • Define how your project will impact the community.
  • Exhibit a range of funding sources for the project.
  • Sign up for our newsletter, or follow us on social media to be alerted when the next application rounds open, and other Co-op details and events.

Questions? Email growlocalfoodfund@wholefoods.coop

Please Note: The GLFF program is newer to WFC, with the first recipients being funded in 2021. As the program grows and we gain feedback from our GLFF Selection Committee and Grantees components of scoring and timelines for applications and awards are subject to change.

This video highlights the program and the first round of growers and food producers that benefited from GLFF grant money.

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