Blog | February 20, 2015

Help Us Get the Word Out! Community Food Project Funding Now Available

HildeSince 1996, the Community Food Project Grant Program (CFP) has been supporting the alleviation of food insecurity in low-income communities through projects which:

  • Promote community self-reliance in meeting their own food needs;
  • Encourage comprehensive responses to local food, farm, and nutrition issues;
  • Meet food needs through food distribution, community outreach to assist in participation in federally-assisted nutrition programs, or improving access to food as part of a comprehensive service; and
  • Meet specific state, local or neighborhood food and agricultural needs including needs relating to equipment necessary for the efficient operation of a project, planning for long-term solutions, or the creation of innovative marketing activities that mutually benefit agricultural producers and low-income consumers.

This past Friday, February 13th, the USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) posted a Request for Applications (RFA) for the 2015 round of CFP funding. Nine million dollars of funds are available — nearly double what they were in the last grant round. Yet there’s been very short notice for prospective applicants, with applications due no later than 5pm EST on March 17th, 2015, and the process often taking more than two weeks to complete. Which is why we need your help!

Do you know of organizations or efforts in your community with experience in:

  • Community food work, particularly concerning small and mid-sized farms, including the provision of food to low-income communities and the development of new markets in low income communities for agricultural producers;
  • Job training and business development for food related activities in low-income communities or;
  • Efforts to reduce food insecurity in the their community, including food distribution, improving access to services, or coordinating services and programs?

If so, please forward along this post!

For this round of funding, two types of grants are available:

  • Community Food Projects, examples of which include community gardens with market stands, value chain projects, food hubs, farmers’ markets, farm-to-institutions projects, and marketing and consumer cooperatives. All projects must involve low-income participants. The maximum Community Food Project award in a single year is $125,000 and the maximum award over four years is $400,000.
  • Planning Projects, examples of which include community food assessments’ coordination of collaboration development, GIS analysis, food sovereignty study, and farm-to-institution exploration. All projects must involve low-income participants. The maximum Planning Project award is $35,000 for the total project period. The maximum grant period is three years.

Farm Aid is collaborating with New Entry Sustainable Farming Project and additional partners to provide free one-on-one technical assistance and resources to applicants. If you are interested in receiving assistance, please fill out this intake form.

There will be two upcoming webinars to help prepare applicants.

  • Overview of using Grants.gov and the application process on Monday, February 23 at 2 pm EST. *Pre-registration required – Registration link
  • Evaluation for Community Food Projects Applications on Thursday, February 26 at 2 pm EST. *Pre-registration required – Registration Link

For more information and to apply for technical assistance, please visit New Entry’s Community Food Project website or fill out the request for assistance form.

Only electronic applications will be accepted via Grants.gov. For new users to Grants.gov, the registration process can take as long as 2 weeks to complete, making it critical to begin the registration process as soon as possible.

To learn more about inspiring Community Food Project grants, past and present, check out this great Digital Storytelling site.

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