Fresh vegetables at a market. 1540x800 IrinaAntonova-Thinkstock

$8.6 million available to support local food systems

The deadline for applications is Dec. 4, 2017.

More than $8.6 million is available to assist low-income individuals and communities in developing local and self-reliant food systems. This funding is available through USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.
 
“This program is important because it reaches beyond short-term food relief,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “It integrates economic, social, and environmental impacts to form comprehensive solutions to problems across all food system levels.”
 
The primary goals of the Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program are to:

  • meet the food needs of low-income individuals,
  • increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for their food needs,
  • promote comprehensive responses to local food access, farm, and nutrition issues, meet specific state, local or neighborhood food and agricultural needs.

Grants aim to bring together stakeholders from the distinct parts of the food system and foster understanding of national food security trends and how they might improve local food systems.
 
All grants require a dollar-for-dollar match in resources. They are intended to support the development of projects with a one-time installment of federal assistance to establish and carry out self-sustaining, multipurpose community food projects. Community Food Projects can be funded up to $400,000 over the course of 48 months. Planning Projects may be funded up to $35,000 for the total project period, which is one year.
 
Eligible applicants include public food program service providers, tribal organizations, and private nonprofit entities, including gleaners. The following requirements must be met:

  • Have experience in the area of community food work, job training and business development activities for food-related activities in low-income communities, or efforts to reduce food insecurity in the community;
  • Demonstrate competency to implement a project, provide fiscal accountability, collect data, and prepare reports and other necessary documentation;
  • Demonstrate a willingness to share information with researchers, evaluators, practitioners, and other interested parties, including a plan for dissemination of results;
  • Collaborate with one or more local partner organizations to achieve at least one hunger-free community’s goal. 

The deadline for applications is Dec. 4, 2017. See the request for applications for details.
 
Since 1996, Community Food Projects have awarded approximately $ $101 million  to organizations nationally. 

Source: USDA NIFA

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