Food Security & Nutrition Fund


All Montgomery County residents have access to healthy, nutritious food.


Strengthen the food safety net and reduce hunger in Montgomery County.


Montgomery County is among the healthiest and wealthiest regions in the Commonwealth, yet an estimated 10.5% of county residents1, and 14.5% of children2, have difficulty getting enough food. Food insecurity has serious health consequences such as hypertension, diabetes and depression.

the foundation’s board has committed a minimum of $600,000 over three years (2014-2016) to this initiative.

Montgomery County is home to a number of emergency (food pantry, soup kitchen) and supplemental (Meals on Wheels, congregate meal programs) food programs. Download this map for a closer look at all the county's food programs.

Pantry Capacity Grants

A system is only as strong as its components. Food pantries are an integral part of the food safety net and strengthening their capacity benefits the individual organization, their clients and the entire system in the county.

The foundation invites food pantries located in Montgomery County to apply for a grant to build their infrastructure. A maximum grant of $10,000 is available under this funding initiative

Capacity building activities are designed to assist an organization to operate more effectively and efficiently, so it can best serve clients and the community. Activities should be completed within six months.

Applicants may apply for a grant under one of the following categories.

  1. Data collection and evaluation
  2. Physical and/or safety improvements to pantry space
  3. Staff and/or board development
  4. Strategic/business planning
  5. Systems or operating improvements (including technology and accounting systems)*
  6. Transitioning to a choice pantry model

*If a pantry does not currently have a computer system for pantry management, it must apply to purchase one and establish a plan for its usage before applying for any other project.

Organizations awarded a grant under this funding initiative may reapply once the work is completed and a final report is submitted.


The following examples are provided to inspire and stimulate thinking and do not represent the full range of possible activities that may be considered.

  • Succession planning
  • Strategic communications planning
  • Staff/volunteer training
  • Staff recruitment and retention
  • Volunteer recruitment and management
  • Introduce/update inventory management and reporting systems
  • Purchase computer(s), iPads or other such equipment to use for pantry management*
  • Acquire and set up client tracking software
  • Volunteer training to engage clients differently
  • Implement a new procurement protocol or system
  • Program planning, design and piloting
  • Create partnerships with other community agencies, farms, schools, etc.
  • Fix leaking pipes or put in new flooring
  • Renovations to make the pantry accessible to those with disabilities
  • Paint or other enchancements to improve pantry appearance and atmosphere

*If a pantry does not currently have a computer system for pantry management, it must apply to purchase one and establish a plan for its usage before applying for any other project.

Organizations interested in applying for a grant are encouraged to contact Senior Program Officer Tamela Luce in advance of submitting a grant request. Applicants should be prepared to discuss how the funding is envisioned to strengthen their organizational capacity in order to best serve clients. 


  • Purchase of food and commodities
  • Purchase of shelving, freezers or other cold storage units (with the exception of a request related to moving to a choice model, provided such items are part of a larger transition plan)
  • Operational expenses including salaries, rent and utilities

These grants are intended to support operational improvements within the pantries, rather than purchase supplies or pay for ongoing expenses.

Eligibility Criteria

Click here to read the criteria for this fund.

Application Process

The foundation is now accepting applications for capacity grants for the fall 2017 cycle. The deadline to apply is Friday, October 27, 2017. Click here for more information and to access the online application form.


1The Hunger and Food Safety Net System, 2013.
2State of Hunger: Montgomery County, 2013.


Food Security & Nutrition Fund Background and Details