Grant funding open to San Antonio’s food and beverage trailblazers

Grant funding is open for culinary innovation and community giveback projects. Photo: google

The San Antonio Food & Wine Alliance (SAFWA) recently announced that $17,000 in grants will be awarded this year to support culinary innovation and community giveback projects in South Texas. In its ninth year, the unique grant program has provided $441,500 in funding to Texas chefs, artisan producers, culinary nonprofits, and businesses with innovative projects that support the community. (San Antonio Food & Wine Alliance, 2021)

Grant applications will be accepted beginning Friday, October 1, through Sunday, October 24, 2021 via online submission. Grant winners will be announced and awarded at a ceremony at Fairmont Austin on December 13 and honored at a local celebration in January.

With the success of the nonprofit’s start in Austin, the organization expanded statewide last year to form the Texas Food & Wine Alliance and for the first time, will award an additional $57,000 in grants total in Austin, Dallas, and Houston.

Eligible applicants for the Alliance’s one-of-a-kind grant program include farmers, artisan producers, chefs, wine/beer/spirits makers, culinary nonprofits, businesses, and professionals whose projects and initiatives show innovation and impact to the community.

To assist prospective applicants in the grant process, there will be a virtual statewide information session via Zoom at 1p.m., Tuesday, October 12. For registration and information, email Texas Food and Wine Alliance.

San Antonio Food & Wine Alliance, one of South Texas’ most impactful culinary nonprofits, is dedicated to fostering education, awareness, and innovation in the South Texas food and wine community. The Alliance’s grant program is the first in the nation to provide funding to support culinary innovation that also gives back to the local community.

Despite the challenges Covid-19 brought to nonprofits, Austin Food & Wine Alliance (AFWA) announced a statewide expansion in 2020, allowing it to replicate its innovative grant funding program in Texas’ major cities with a goal to help the stricken culinary communities across the state due to the pandemic. The newly formed Texas Food & Wine Alliance serves as the umbrella organization overseeing AFWA, SAFWA, the Dallas Food & Wine Alliance, and the Houston Food & Wine Alliance.

“We’re so thrilled to be able to continue with our grant program despite the setbacks inflicted by the pandemic. It’s only through amazing partnerships such as with the great support of HEB, and the generous and supportive culture in San Antonio and South Texas that we’ve been able to raise the funds to award grants this year. These funds will continue to go back into the community through unique and innovative projects.” – Cathy Cochran-Lewis, Grant Chair and Alliance President

Since 2012, Alliance grants have funded innovative local projects such as the state’s first organic apple orchard (Argus Cidery), the first USDA-inspected salumi producer in Texas (Salt & Time Butcher Shop & Salumeria), the state’s first locally grown and malted barley to support craft beer production (Blacklands Malt), a unique volunteer program teaching farming skills to diverse populations and culinary students (New Farm Institute at Green Gate Farms), Austin’s first and only community-supported bakeshop (Miche Bread) and a Texas farm producing stress-free, free-range meat while helping wounded veterans (Snodgrass Farms).

“Being able to support and enable the dreams of so many in our community is truly a heartfelt mission for our organization. We are privileged to do this work and are inspired by the many chefs, artisan producers, bartenders, wine- and spirit-makers who have contributed to this remarkable culinary landscape for South Texas. It’s been a challenging year for our nonprofit and we’re extremely grateful to our sponsors and partners that have supported us in our mission.” – Gina Burchenal, TFWA Interim Executive Director

Each year, the TFWA board of directors determines the amount of grant funding based on the organization’s fundraising efforts from key signature events, community partnerships, and beneficiary events. The TFWA Grant Judging Committee in each city, composed of a private panel of prominent culinary professionals and community members, will award the 2021 grants based on the grant criteria, application information, and goals of each applicant. Deadline for applications is Sunday, October 24 and all applicants will be notified by Tuesday, November 23, 2021.

This year’s San Antonio grant total is boosted by three specifically funded grants:
· H-E-B Grant for $5,000, open to San Antonio area chefs, farmers, artisan producers, food-focused nonprofits, and educational groups that prioritize education, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
· Tito’s Handmade Vodka Entrepreneur Grant for $5,000 awarded to an entrepreneur who has pursued his/her business dream despite setbacks, showing that success often comes from failures, as exemplified by founder Tito Beveridge in the pursuit of his Texas-made vodka
· The Truffle Masters Grant for Community Heroes for $2,000 awarded to a chef who has overcome diversity and challenges to bring support to others during a time of crisis to help their community

Additional grant funding of $5,000 will be awarded to more generalized grant projects with special consideration given to initiatives supporting diversity and inclusion within the San Antonio community.

The Alliance continues to win tremendous community support from presenting sponsor H-E-B and key supporters ABC Bank, American Lamb Board, Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, Austin Monthly, Buffalo Trace, Canopy by Hilton, Con ‘Olio Oils & Vinegars, Fairmont Austin, Fever Tree, Giant Noise, Lifeworks, Pabst Brewing, Patrón Tequila, Premiere Events, Republic National Distributing Company, Siete Family Foods, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Sysco, Texas Beef Council, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Twang, Unifresh, and William Grant & Sons.

Under the Texas Food & Wine Alliance umbrella, the San Antonio Food & Wine Alliance is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering awareness, support, and innovation in the South Texas culinary community through grants, educational programming, and events. Guided by an all-volunteer board of directors and committees made up of culinary- and community-minded professionals, the Alliance is committed to promoting Texas food, wine, spirits, and craft brews and to increase appreciation of Texas’ culinary impact.


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