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Información del programa de microsubvenciones

Unlike traditional programs, SBCFAN’s grantmaking program is specifically designed to include wraparound information, resources, and tools that food producers need to execute a successful project – whether they are funded or not.

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ApplicatioNS ARE open UNTIL 11:59pm MAY 31, 2024.

For more information and support in completing the application, contact

Read more below, or jump down to FAQs.


Click the orange button to apply ONLINE.

Grant Program Coordinator

Rubayi Estes

Lead Contact, Food Justice Grant (she/her)
Rubayi Estes

Rubayi‘s love for caring for food systems began in her early years when she attended pre-k through 8th grade at the Aurobindo Ashram in New Delhi. The school prioritized local food systems, food sovereignty and agroecology in the communities they served.

She has worked with local, State, and Federal agencies in the United States on urban planning, disaster relief, and water resource management. Spending the last 13 years in different capacities with community-based organizations (domestic and international) and, most recently, as the VP of programs at the Santa Barbara Foundation.

She has also worked as an independent evaluation and strategy consultant on projects for World Bank, Orfalea Foundation, Root Change, Save the Children, California State Office of the Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications, and Oxfam International. She has a BA in Global Studies with a socio-economic and anthropological emphasis from UC Santa Barbara. She holds an MA in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, with certifications in Development Project Management, Global Peace and Security, and Health and Humanitarian Supply Chain Management.


The 2024 Food Justice Microgrant Program seeks to address inequities and vulnerabilities in our local food system. It will put resources directly into the hands of individuals striving for food justice and building resilience in Santa Barbara County.

The Santa Barbara County Food Action Network (SBCFAN) is providing flexible funding of up to $5,000 per grant (with an expected 6-8 grants) to support projects or programs that build a resilient food system through the power of food justice, food sovereignty, and/or agroecology. The project or program can be in its beginning stages or already established – this includes new ideas, piloting, or improvement. Funding will be available for projects or programs in the second half of 2024.

SBCFAN believes the solution to addressing the continuation of inequity and vulnerability in our regional food system is by putting resources directly into the hands of individuals and communities with bold visions to build justice and resilience. In its process of learning and applying a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Justice (DEIAJ) lens, SBCFAN developed a Food Action Plan 2.0. As a result, advancing the plan goals means:

  • Historically marginalized individuals and communities are centered in the work, directly informing and benefiting from food system projects;
  • create and share resources and tools equitably; and
  • equitably amplifying voices and creating space for self-advocacy.

With the support of our corporate partner, Clevr Blends, we have also determined that the microgrants need to be responsive and address both emergency and external shocks to the food system alongside important upstream systemic change.

ApplicatioNS ARE open UNTIL 11:59pm MAY 31, 2024.

GRANT Review Committee

Diego Cordero

Lead Environmental Technician, Santa Ynez Chumash Environmental Office (he/him/él)
Diego Cordero

Diego Cordero is the Lead Environmental Technician for the Santa Ynez Chumash Environmental Office. The programs he manages are diverse and range from zero waste to water quality monitoring to running the tribal native plant nursery.

He graduated from Humboldt State University with a BA in Native American Studies, initially intending to develop his understanding of Federal Indian Law, but found his passion in native plants and the relationships native people have developed with them over the millennia.

By restoring traditional practices and bridging them with today’s knowledge and techniques, Diego hopes to improve the well-being of both people and the land in the part of the world that he calls home.

Lena Morán-Acereto, M.A. Ed. 

CEO & Principal Consultant (she/her/ella)
Lena Morán-Acereto, M.A. Ed. 

Lena holds a Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in Social Justice and Leadership from Antioch University Santa Barbara, where she did research on the topic of children who are used as interpreters and with her thesis focusing on the creation of an evaluation system of interpretation and translation services in school districts. As an educator, activist and advocate, Lena’s expertise has led her to design and facilitate workshops and trainings nationally and internationally on interpretation, translation as well as diversity, equity, inclusion and justice and provide linguistically inclusive design and language justice consulting.

Lena works with a wide range of clients in the private and public sectors to design and implement linguistically inclusive practices, trainings and processes. Lena has also worked with clients to assess and improve internal and external language access and language justice practices. Lena is also a frequent speaker and presenter at conferences and workshops, sharing her expertise and best practices for creating linguistically inclusive environments.

Lena is a licensed trainer for The Community Interpreter, a program of Cross-Cultural Communications, an interpreter and translator and expert in the field of language justice.

Lena is the founder and CEO of Bridging Voices- Uniendo Voces, Adjunct Faculty at Santa Barbara City College, Board of Trustees member of Wilderness Youth Project and the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.

Herschelle Milford

Non-profit & social justice leader (she/her/ella)
Herschelle Milford

Herschelle Milford, the Director of Programs at PATH Santa Barbara, brings over 30 years of professional and personal experience in South Africa’s ethnically diverse society. A graduate of the University of the Western Cape, she holds a Higher Education diploma and has worked as a teaching professional in both governmental and non-profit settings. For the last 18 years, Herschelle dedicated her career to leadership in a land justice non-profit, leading transformative processes around race, inclusivity, equity, and diversity.

As the first black director/director of color, Herschelle played a crucial role in guiding workplace transformation. Her personal experience of racial injustice informs her commitment to dismantling exclusion and promoting dignity. Having worked with disadvantaged communities in the post-Apartheid era, she brings valuable insights to her board roles. Herschelle serves on the Social and Ethics Committee of the mothers2mothers South Africa board, is a member of the Thousand Currents Board, and a board member of the Environmental Monitoring Group.

Believing in the power of collectivism and solidarity, Herschelle advocates for establishing and maintaining relationships with community partners, stakeholders, and international alliances.


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  • Grant funds cannot be used for:
    • Endowments
    • Fundraising events or sponsorships
    • Existing debt re-payments [funds may be used to leverage or match grants and/or loans, such as Economic Development Collaborative’s Food System Resilience Low Interest Loan Program]
    • Political campaigns that support a candidate or a political party
    • Influencing legislation (within the meaning of section 4945(d)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code); except as that activity may be related to the purpose of the grant and permitted for 501(c)(3) organizations by applicable law or Internal Revenue Service regulations. Funding cannot be used to promote a specific piece of legislation.
  • Grant Period:
    Funds must be spent within 12 months from the grant award date noted on the award letter.
  • Reporting Requirement: 
    • Awardees will be interviewed to capture their journey. 
    • Additionally, we invite you to share stories at a gathering of grant recipients.  SBCFAN would like to create space to meet with peers. (
    • Reports can be submitted in a format of your preference, i.e. video, photos, slide presentation, or a short written summary.


Anyone striving for food justice, food sovereignty, and agroecology in Santa Barbara County is encouraged to apply.

how do i submit my grant application?

  • Online: Applications may be submitted through our online form on this page on or after April 29, 2024.
  • By mail: Printable/fillable PDFs will be available for download on this page on or after April 29, 2024. Completed PDFs may be scanned and emailed to or mailed to us at:
    133 E De La Guerra St. #268,
    Santa Barbara CA 93101.


  • Non-profits, schools, for-profit businesses, homeowner associations, collaborations & coalitions, grassroots movements, or individuals. Applicants are not required to be a 501(c)3 or 501(c)19 entity.*
  • There are no bonding or insurance requirements for this grant, although any program or project’s use of land must be permissible by the owner.

What does a successful applicant project look like?

  • The project or program is of the Community, by the Community, for the Community it intends to serve.
  • The project or program is led by those most impacted by inequities in our local food system, such as groups historically marginalized and/or underserved in the County; this includes but is not limited to Black Americans, Indigenous Peoples, Women-Owned Businesses, People of Color, Veterans, or People with Special Needs.
  • The project or program addresses upstream barriers that prevent communities from accessing healthy and nutritious food, especially marginalized communities that have perpetually faced food insecurity and limited resources due to systemic inequalities.
  • The project or program activates one or more of the Food Action Plan Goals and is already, or intends to, partner with others in their community.


Applications for the 2024 SBCFAN Food Justice Microgrant program will open on April 29, 2024 and close at 11:59pm Pacific Time on May 31, 2024.

When will funding be awarded?

Applicants will be notified of the final decision in July 2024.

IF YOU have more questions…

Our informational video will be posted here and on our YouTube channel in mid-April. You may also email questions to

Important Dates

Information Session mid-April 2024
Grant Application Opens April 29, 2024
Application Period Ends May 31, 2024
Award Notification July 2024
Gathering & Celebration TBD (November/December 2024)
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