Featured Image: Bon Appétit’s “Fork to Farm” Grant Recipients

Bon Appétit’s “Fork to Farm” Grant Recipients

This year, in honor of the 15th anniversary of our Farm to Fork program, we’re giving something back.

On Eat Local Challenge Day, September 23, more than 26,000 students, corporate employees, museum goers, and workers at Bon Appétit cafés around the country cast their votes to determine which 10 Farm to Fork vendors (two in each of five geographic regions) will receive a Bon Appétit “Fork to Farm” Grant of $5,000 for a specific project to grow their business.



Click the farm NAMES to read about their projects in detail


A Goucher College student votes on Eat Local Challenge Day.

A Goucher College student votes on Eat Local Challenge Day.

Pacific Northwest (ID, OR, WA)

Southwest (AZ, CA, CO, NM, UT, TX, WY)

Midwest (IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, OH, TN, WI)

Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT)

Southeast (FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA)

About the Fork to Farm Grant program

In 1999, we challenged our chefs companywide to source at least 20 percent of their ingredients from small, owner-operated farms within 150 miles of their kitchens. It was a ground-breaking move for a food service company. Our goal was to obtain the freshest, most flavorful food for our cafés — and to nurture the kind of agriculture we wanted to see grow, which was then disappearing from the landscape.

Now, “eating local” has become a full-fledged movement. We’re proud to have more than 1,400 small farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and food craftspeople enrolled in Farm to Fork. Over the years, Bon Appétit teams have supported their local suppliers not just by buying tens of millions of dollars in food every year, but by helping out where they can with donations toward refrigerated delivery trucks, hoop houses, certification programs, and more.

We decided to dedicate our annual gift in honor of our clients to our farmers. The Fork To Farm Grant Program accepted applications from registered vendors from June 15 to July 15. The field was narrowed to 25 finalists for voting on Eat Local Challenge Day.

We’re immensely moved and touched by the 171 stories that were submitted, and we wish we could have funded all of them.  We hope the farms and artisans who were not chosen still find a way to make their dreams happen. Kiva Zip, a reputable “micro-lending” website that enables small businesses to crowdsource loans of around $5k-$10K, is actively looking for small farms. Kiva Zip has special terms for farmers including 0% interest rate loans up to 10K and pay back options between 6-36 months. Bon Appétit has offered to serve as the “trustee,” the business who vouches for the lendee, for any Fork to Farm grant applicants  who wish to pursue this route.



All information and materials submitted via the form may be used by Bon Appétit without restriction. Bon Appétit reserves the right to modify or terminate the Fork to Farm grant program and to disqualify any applicant if we believe the program has been compromised. Please note that the IRS will consider these grants taxable income, and winners will be required to provide an IRS Form W-9 if Bon Appétit does not already have one on file for you. Winners must also commit to using all of the funds toward the project entered and to sharing photos and/or information about the project after it is completed.