Community Food Fund

The council has made a new round of funds available to support local projects tackling food security in Aberdeenshire communities. Find out more:


The Aberdeenshire Community Food Fund is for community or resilience groups seeking funding to tackle food security in Aberdeenshire Communities. The following types of groups can apply:

  • Constituted community groups
  • Registered charities
  • Partnerships involving community organisations with a constituted group as a lead partner

Applicants should have an annual turnover of less than £250,000 per annum, and the fund is not available to individuals or private organisations operating as a business to make a profit.

The main conditions of the fund are as follows:

  • Your project should link to your local community planning priorities, you can find out more about this by speaking to the Community Planning Officer for your area or viewing the Our Aberdeenshire pages for your area
  • Any unused money must be returned (the council will advise of the timescale and process)
  • Receipts/accounts (scanned in and emailed are acceptable) must be provided within 12 weeks of receipt of the grant
  • You must submit a report that includes progress on the difference your project has made on completion of the project or a maximum of six months from the date your grant was awarded, whichever is sooner


The maximum project grant is £2000. 

If approved, the funds will be awarded within 20 working days of the application being made.

The applications will be assessed by your local area manager's office and funds will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

How to apply

View help with PDF forms before submitting a request.

Complete the community food fund application form (PDF 201KB) with guidance notes, and send it to the email address for your local area office. The email addresses can be found in the application form. 

If you need assistance or are unable to submit your application via email please contact your local area manager's office.

Submitting more than one application

Organisations can submit more than one application if:

  • The maximum amount has not been applied for
  • It is for a different project
  • You have applied for the maximum amount, a further application may be considered by the relevant area manager, if there are exceptional circumstances and you have met the outcomes for your previous award

Please note that cumulative maximum grant to a single organisation is £3000 in a single financial year.

Examples of what will be supported

The Community Food Fund is intended to support local projects that promote the long-term availability of good quality, affordable food in communities. This could include projects such as:

  • Community food growing
  • Cooking projects and community kitchens
  • Community larders or pantries
  • Community shops (where food is an essential part of the shop model)

Please note that list is not exhaustive. You are strongly encouraged to speak to your area manager’s team before applying. View the local area manager's office contact details.

Eligible costs for your project might include:

  • Equipment – for example white goods, storage equipment or kitchen equipment
  • Training for volunteers – including accredited training in areas such as food hygiene or to support volunteer development and good mental health
  • Insurance
  • Membership fees for appropriate umbrella organisations
  • Limited volunteer expenses (maximum grant £200)
  • Seeds, plants and gardening equipment
  • Food elements of community-based provision or activities where the project works with those experiencing socio-economic barriers - please note applicants are not expected to ‘means test’ people using the project for accessing food but are expected to have a clear idea of who might benefit from their projects
  • In exceptional circumstances hard to source food stock can be included

This list is not exhaustive, and you are encouraged to discuss your project before applying.

What is meant by socio-economic barriers:

  • Those who are financially at risk, including families whose children are eligible for free school meals, low income households and those who have recently lost employment
  • Those who are marginalised, may have complex needs and may be less engaged with public services, including people who are homeless, those with substance dependencies, those with existing mental health problems, victims of domestic abuse, refugees, asylum seekers, those with no recourse to public funds, Gypsy / Traveller communities and minority ethnic communities; thought should also be given to access to transport

What will not be supported

The following projects don't meet the criteria:

  • Direct costs of emergency food provision that is purchasing most food stock (for projects intending to provide emergency food packages it is recommended that contact is made with the local Community Planning Officer in the first instance to link into local partnerships for further advice and support) 
  • Projects that do not benefit people in Aberdeenshire
  • Rent and overheads for current lease/property arrangements (subject to specific discussion, in exceptional circumstances, rent and overheads for a new occupancy specifically for the food project may be considered)
  • Underwriting of current wages or salaries
  • Volunteer expenses of more than £200
  • Loss of income/loss of fundraising income due to impact of COVID-19 and related restrictions
  • Landscaping projects other than for food growing
  • General fundraising appeals or activities
  • Animal, wildlife or conservation projects
  • Projects which clearly duplicate existing provision or where there is no clear need or demand
  • Projects which promote religion or politics (note - applications from faith groups where there is clear benefit for the wider community irrespective of religious beliefs are acceptable)

Resources for seeking funding

Up-to-date information on funding streams can be found on the Aberdeenshire Community Planning Partnership website.

Support with finding funding can also be sought from Rural Partnerships and Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action.