Food, Agriculture, and Resilient Ecosystems (FARE) Grant Program

Supporting sustainable food and agriculture systems

Food, Agriculture, and Resilient Ecosystems (FARE) Grant Program

The application period for this program ended on December 8, 2023. The first round of FARE grant awards is in the selection process. The Marin County Board of Supervisors is expected to award the grants in late May 2024. To learn about the next application period and other news about the program, please join the email list.

  • To receive email updates, send an email to Include the email you would like us to add to the FARE grant information list.
  • Frequently Asked Questions are listed below.
  • Program Lead Sonya Hammons is available to answer your questions:

Frequently Asked Questions

What can the grants be used for?

This program supports sustainable food systems, climate beneficial management, and improving natural resource values on Marin's working lands. Project topics could include initiatives for local food supply sustainability, community gardens, carbon capture farming, increasing access to low-cost farmland and farming for low-income and underserved communities, and more.

This program can fund:

  • Next steps for planning and early action stages of a project
  • Launch of a new project or program that is ready to begin
  • Continuation of a program that is already operational
  • Implementation of physical projects on working lands or in communities

Up to 20% of funds can be applied toward administrative expenses that directly support the grant scope of work.

What are examples of projects?

These are just a few examples to illustrate how this funding could be used

  • Study school grounds, open spaces, faith-based properties, and other sites that could be available for agricultural uses
  • Shared crop planning to support a farm to school food pipeline
  • Multi-year programmatic connection between school food programs and local farms
  • Year-round staffing to support gardening and education at school and community gardens
  • Program to move compost from farms to community gardens
  • Place-based projects showing how to connect youth and families to agriculture opportunities
  • Create/expand farmers market space, grocery store and grocery cooperative, paying youth health educators to host cooking demonstrations
  • Commercial kitchen space, storage, and business education to support home cooks to become entrepreneurs
  • Access to incubator farmland for new farmers
  • Implementing management practices on agricultural lands that will increase carbon sequestration and soil health long-term to support of Marin County's 2030 Climate Action Plan

How will projects be selected to receive grants?

Staff will lead an application review process in partnership with the Parks and Open Space Commission and others. Grant agreements will ultimately be approved by the Marin County Board of Supervisors.

How can an applicant strengthen their application?

Applicants are encouraged to:

  • Participate in information sessions, office hours, and other opportunities to talk with staff and technical assistance providers to ask questions and explore proposal ideas
  • Discuss project ideas and goals with program staff before applying
  • Incorporate involvement of priority communities in project design and implementation. Priority communities experience intersecting challenges of racial, health, economic and other inequities.
  • Collaborate among partners doing related work
  • Address unmet needs that are not well-suited to other sources of funding, OR demonstrate that this grant would facilitate access to larger State and/or Federal grants
  • Address County priorities, including:
  • Prepare a proposal that is complete, feasible, and relevant to the grant program

What are Priority Communities for this program?

This program will prioritize projects that are co-designed by and benefit Priority Communities in Marin County.

For this program, “Priority Communities” means any Marin County population that experiences inequity related to this Program’s funding areas (for example food security and ecological health) compared to the county as a whole.

Applicants can define for themselves how their project proposal supports Priority Communities. Applicants may use quantitative or qualitative data, community feedback from or centered in communities of color, and direct experience to describe how a Program proposal addresses racial disparities and other inequities.

A map using local data has been developed as one resource to support applicants to tell their story about race equity and intersecting challenges. This map does not define what a Priority Community is. It does provide resources to support communities to tell their own story about race equity and intersecting challenges.

What are examples of how a project can involve Priority Communities?

This program prioritizes participation of and investment in communities that experience intersecting challenges of racial, health, economic and other inequities. These are a few examples of how a project can involve these priority communities in the design and implementation of a project:

  • Develop and/or implement the project by or in close partnership with an organization based in a community of color
  • Use data and community input to demonstrate how a proposal will address historic barriers and inequities
  • Center traditional knowledge and direct involvement of indigenous groups in ecological restoration or other project design
  • Directly benefit of people of color and others experiencing intersecting challenges of underinvestment and inequity
  • Prioritize ways for project funds to support people of color to implement the project, including through new workforce opportunities, professional development opportunities, and living wages
  • Support local businesses owned by people of color

What is the timeline for applications and funding?

The application period was October 10 – December 8, 2023. Sign-up for email updates to learn about the next opportunity to apply. 

Who is eligible to apply?

Applications will be invited from:

  • Public agencies
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Special district or Joint Powers Authority (JPA) formed pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 6500) of Division 7 of the Government code
  • Educational institutions
  • Federally recognized California Native American tribes
  • Non-federally recognized California Native American tribes that are on the contact list maintained by the Native American Heritage Commission

These organizations should be based in Marin, or demonstrate at least one year of leading projects based in Marin.

If you are not eligible to apply, please contact us to discuss opportunities to collaborate with an eligible organization. Applicants that do not meet eligibility criteria can collaborate with a fiscal agent to apply.

All applicants must demonstrate capacity to manage their project's stated scope of work and maintain records on use of all grant funds.

How much grant funding will be offered?

Applicants can request grant awards between $15,000 and $200,000. For the 2023-2024 application period, up to $1.58 million in total may be awarded.

What are the requirements for matching contributions?

All proposals must include some kind of matching contribution. This can be any combination of funds and/or in-kind resources. There is no minimum dollar amount or proportion for matching contributions.

How will Parks staff support the program?

A series of information sessions and office hours will take place during the application period to answer questions and connect potential partners. Contact the Parks program lead Sonya Hammons at, even if you are in the early stages of considering applying.