Become a good food organization

Please read this page for key details of how the program works, what we’re looking for in member organizations, how we work together, key dates, and how to apply. We hope you’ll join us and like-minded organizations across the country in declaring our shared goal of working for a healthy and fair food system by becoming a Good Food Organization (GFO).

We are currently accepting new members between September 10 – October 19, 2018.


Benefits of being a Good Food Organization

Resources | Gain access to 150+ member resources including program profiles, program manuals, research summaries, and capacity-building tools (e.g. evaluation frameworks, communications planning tools, fundraising tip sheets).

Training | Troubleshoot the issues specific to your organization and context through small group training sessions. Both program-focused (e.g. food skills programs, advocacy programs, healthy food banks) and capacity-building (e.g. fundraising, evaluation, communications) training sessions will be offered. These training opportunities will be tailored to the particular needs identified by Good Food Organizations.

Grants | Apply for one of several grants to boost your organization’s ability to implement the Good Food Principles.

Community | Connect with other like-minded organizations at CFCC’s annual Food Summit held early April. The Summit offers opportunities to network, learn, and share with other Good Food Organizations and Community Food Centres. We also provide ongoing opportunities to learn from and connect with Good Food Organizations through a members’ website, an e-newsletter, training sessions, and a virtual message board.

National Voice | Join your voice to ours and participate and contribute to the development of national campaigns calling for better policies related to a fair and healthy food system.


Our shared commitment

The GFO program is a collaborative effort on behalf of CFCC and member organizations. Here’s how we envision each of our roles in the context of the program:

Your commitment | As a Good Food Organization, you commit to carrying out community food security work to the highest standard possible and to representing your community on issues related to poverty, food, and health.

Our commitment | As a national organization dedicated to supporting the capacity of the community food sector, we commit to offering small-group training, resources, networking opportunities, and funding, while creating shared avenues for us to speak about our sector’s work and the systemic issues that we see in our communities.


Who should apply?

We know that there are many amazing organizations out there that are already working in ways that align closely with the vision and approach we use in implementing the Community Food Centre model. You may already be a good food organization! (We didn’t invent the idea of “good food.”) Our intention with the Good Food Organizations program is to create a platform where like-minded organizations can deepen their knowledge, share ideas, and call for change.

Other organizations may be aspiring to change but struggling to get stakeholders behind a new vision, to develop impactful programs, or to assemble the resources they need to implement their ideas. That’s one of the reasons we started the GFO program — because we believe that strategic goal-setting combined with support and resources leads to change.

We welcome applications from a broad range of organizations — big and small, old and new. We’re not looking for hundreds of members; rather we are looking for those who have the time, energy, and commitment to making this initiative helpful and meaningful for their organizations and other GFOs.

Typically, the following are the criteria for membership:

  1. You are a community food organization, food bank, social service organization, First Nations council, poverty reduction organization, health or environmental organization;
  2. Your organization offers or plans to offer a fairly significant amount of food programming in one or more of the areas of food access, food skills, education and engagement (e.g. community kitchens, drop-in meals, edible gardens, youth education, food banks, peer-to-peer supports, social justice clubs);
  3. You are a registered non-profit or charity; and
  4. Your organization has a widespread interest in, and alignment with, the Good Food Principles.


— CFCC is reaching out to Indigenous communities to co-create a network within the GFO program that will focus on supporting good food initiatives across Canada.  If you are interested in connecting with this pilot project, please contact Anna Jacobs,

— Organizations whose primary mandate is to facilitate networks, run public education campaigns or do policy work would not be eligible. However we hope to involve such organizations in our future campaigns, so if being involved in this way is of interest, please let us know and we would love to keep you in the loop.

— We are currently accepting a limited number of applications from organizations outside of Canada. Note, however, that only registered Canadian charities can apply to our grants.

Please contact us if you are unsure if your organization is eligible for the program.


The Good Food Principles that unite us

The Good Food Organizations program is grounded in our Good Food Principles, which underpin our work at Community Food Centres Canada, and the work done at each Community Food Centre. We have seen these principles at work in other organizations, and we have tested them with many groups that are working in similar directions. The principles are intended to be aspirational, but also grounded in pragmatic, achievable actions. You may be implementing none, some, or all of the principles already. If you are still striving for change, they can help you chart a course and measure success.

Part of becoming a Good Food Organization is to declare your commitment to the principles (in current practice or as a goal) by completing a self-assessment. We hope that this can become part of an ongoing process in the organization — something to review collectively with staff, board and community members, and to use to set goals and to ground reflections in.

You’ll find more detail on the principles, tools, and the self-assessment in the application package (below), but in short, they underline the necessity of:


  • Taking action from individual to the systemic: integrating programs in the areas of food access, food skills, and civic engagement

  • Believing and investing in the power of good food

  • Creating an environment of respect and community leadership

  • Meeting people where they’re at

  • Aiming high for our organizations and our community

Download the Good Food Principles in full here


Applying to become a Good Food Organization

From September 10-October 19, 2018 we are accepting applications to the Good Food Organizations program. If you choose not to apply at this time, our next intake will be in the fall of 2019. Please email us to be alerted when the following application round opens.

The application is conducted online. You will be asked to upload a letter of interest, complete an organizational profile, and conduct an organizational self-assessment through the lens of the Good Food Principles. Note that if you follow the below link, you will need to return to the URL via the same computer and browser in order to save and return to your form.

Have questions? We’ve got answers.

  1. We’ve done our best to summarize some Frequently Asked Questions in this downloadable document
  2. Get in touch! Contact us anytime by emailing


Member voices

“For my organization, the most important impact of being a member Good Food Organization has been the connection to other like-minded GFOs that has developed into actual collaborations and/or training and learning opportunities.” 
— Tom Garncarz, Good Food Brampton (Brampton, ON)

“Being a GFO has allowed our organization to focus on embedding food across multiple program streams, while giving us targets to achieve via the Good Food Principles. It has given us a foundation for making changes in food policy and educating staff/volunteers about healthy food and why it matters.”
— Zahra Esmail, South Vancouver Neighbourhood House (Vancouver, BC)

“Most of all, last year, being a member GFO gave us the opportunity to receive support from the child and youth grant which made a major difference in the implementation of our new after school program Boîte à lunch. Being a member also meant being part of a greater movement and having a model that’s inspiring and that we can adapt to our community needs. The online resources help us in our search for references and tools and our participation at the CFCC Food Summit allowed us to learn, exchange and feel connected with the other GFO members and Community Food Centres.”
— Jean-Philippe Vermette, Carrefour alimentaire Centre-sud (Montreal, QC)