Photo credit: Rucha Chitnis. From the Agroecology Fund Learning Exchange, Amrita Bhoomi Learning Center, Karnataka, India
Rooted in the principles of agroecology and food systems transformation, the Food Sovereignty Fund supports organizations, alliances, and leaders promoting biodiversity and climate stability while fostering human dignity and thriving communities in the United States and around the world. The Fund was developed by Anna Lappé, who directed the program from 2016-2023.

The Food Sovereignty Fund is founded in the conviction that the fossil-fuel dependent, extractive food system dominant in the US, and increasingly around the world, is a key driver of the planet’s most pressing crises—from climate chaos and biodiversity collapse to human rights abuses and an epidemic of preventable, diet-related illnesses.


Our vision is a future where all people have access to affordable, healthy, culturally appropriate food, where food producers and workers are valued, and where our food system is a source of equity and environmental sustainability. We believe the need to invest in action on food has never been more urgent—and we are honored to support those on the front lines of truly transformational work.


Thus, we invest in the leaders fighting for the bold change needed to transform our food system from a culprit of these interlocking crises to a central part of the solution.  Our grantee partners work for powerful, radical transformation by building strong and diverse social movements, challenging corporate power, and cultivating in people a shared vision for change. We prioritize initiatives centering racial justice and those communities most impacted by the industrial food system, while addressing the root causes of this environmentally destructive and socially unjust system.


Food sovereignty is a term first developed in the mid-1990s by the peasant-led social movement La Via Campesina to describe the right of all to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods and a community’s right to define their own food and agriculture systems.


Agroecology is a science, a practice, and a social movement. As a science, agroecology is the study of the ecology of food systems. As a practice, it is a way of organizing food systems around farming in harmony with nature, not through dependence on external inputs. As a social movement, it is based in the understanding of farming as part of broader economic, political, and social dynamics.

You can read more about the history of agroecology and its role in creating farms more resilient to climate shocks on Mongabay. To learn more about agroecology, see “Agroecological and other innovative approaches for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition” (FAO 2019).


Our Food Sovereignty Fund resources:


  • Alliances and movement-building networks;
  • Policy advocacy, leadership building, and training;
  • Research, communications, and narrative change initiatives;
  • Community-based and land-based projects;
  • Values-aligned national and international intermediaries and participatory pooled funds;
  • Start-ups or new campaigns of long-standing organizations that promise to catalyze significant food system transformation.
Photo credit: SAAFON


We focus in the following grantmaking areas:



We fund long-term movement building and leadership development, helping to grow and strengthen key US food movement alliances, coalitions, and fellowships. Through our participation in the Agroecology Fund, we also support such movement building around the world.



We support systems change through a range of local, state, and federal policy efforts. For the past several years, we have focused on national and local partners working on food procurement policy to shift supply chains toward alignment with values of racial equity, worker wellbeing, nutrition, animal welfare, community economic development, and the environment. We also have concentrated funding to support common sense local food and pesticide policy reform in Hawaii, which has one of the highest rate of restricted pesticide use anywhere in the country.



We invest in communications and narrative-building initiatives to help increase public awareness about the impacts of industrial agriculture and promote agroecology and sustainable food systems. We fund groups directly and work closely with and sit on the Steering Committee of the Food and Farm Communications Fund, a participatory grantmaking fund supporting communications capacity building of frontline organizations.



While a focus on climate is integrated across all of our strategy areas, we also focus grantmaking efforts on campaigns to stop the financing of climate-intensive animal factory farms and take on agrochemicals (pesticides and fertilizers) as another frontier in the fight against the fossil fuel economy.



We support locally grounded efforts modeling on-the-ground solutions, many of which are reclaiming land for Black and Indigenous farmers. To date, we have supported such land-based and advocacy work in Hawaii, California, and the Southeast and the Northeast of the US.



We work closely with funder colleagues, including those working at the intersections of food systems, biodiversity, climate, and social justice. Some of these partners include:



We also invest in field-led, pooled funds, which enable our lean team to support frontlines and grassroots groups more effectively and center community leadership in grantmaking decision making. These partners include non-profit organizations that have developed membership-led grantmaking as well. Some of these partners, include:


Unfortunately, due to our modest team capacity, we are unable to respond to unsolicited inquiries. We encourage you to explore opportunities with our national and global partners and affinity groups, many of which are named above. For food system leaders in the US, we also encourage you to explore opportunities through the Castanea Fellowship, the HEAL Food Alliance School of Political Leadership, and, for those in Hawaii, the Kuleana Academy.



If you are interested in learning more about our strategy, grantee partners, or if you seek input on grantmaking strategy, please reach out to In consideration of the privacy concerns of some of our grantee partners, we don’t list grants online. If you’d like a sample list of partners in this program, please email



We regularly organize webinars and participate in events to uplift grantee partners, share our work, and learn from our colleagues inside and outside of philanthropy. You can find upcoming events on our News & Views page or sign up for our email list for updates.