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U.S. Department of Agriculture: Community Food Projects

Deadline: December 4, 2017

The primary goals of the Community Food Projects competitive grant program are to:

  • Meet the food needs of low-income individuals through food distribution and community outreach to assist in participation in federally assisted nutrition programs, or improving access to food as part of a comprehensive service
  • Increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for the food needs of the communities
  • Promote comprehensive responses to local food access, farm, and nutrition issues
  • 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

Community Food Projects are intended to bring together stakeholders from the distinct parts of the food system and to foster understanding of national food security trends and how they might improve local food systems.

There are two types of grants under this program:

  • Community Food Projects (CFP): The purpose the CFP program is to support the development of projects with a one-time infusion of federal dollars to make such projects self-sustaining. Examples of CFPs include, but are not limited to, 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.
  • Planning Projects (PP): The purpose of the PP program is to complete a plan toward the improvement of community food security. PPs are to focus on a defined community and describe in detail the activities and outcomes of the planning project. Examples of PPs include, but are not limited to, community food assessments, coordination of collaboration development plan, GIS analysis, food sovereignty study, and farm-to-institution exploration. All projects must involve low-income participants.

Preference is given to CFPs and PPs designed to:

  • Develop linkages between two or more sectors of the food system.
  • Support the development of entrepreneurial projects.
  • Develop innovative connections between the for-profit and nonprofit food sectors.
  • Encourage long-term planning activities and multi-system, interagency approaches with collaborations from multiple stakeholders that build the long-term capacity of communities to address the food and agricultural problems of the communities, such as food policy councils and food planning associations.
  • Develop new resources and strategies to help reduce food insecurity in the community and prevent food insecurity in the future by: a) developing creative food resources; b) coordinating food services with park and recreation programs and other community based outlets to reduce barriers to access; or c) creating nutrition education programs for at-risk populations to enhance food-purchasing and food-preparation skills and to heighten awareness of the connection between diet and health.

Amount: A total of $8,640,000 is available. Amounts vary by project type:

  • CFP awards may be up to $125,000 for a single year but may not exceed more than $400,000 over a period of four years.
  • PP awards may be up to $35,000 for the entire project period proposed, which may be up to three years.

Applicants must provide provide matching on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Eligibility: Public food program service providers, tribal organizations, or private nonprofit entities. See the solicitation for additional eligibility requirements related to experience.

Link: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/community-food-projects-cfp-competitive-grants-program

Note: There will be a webinar for potential applicants on October 16, 2017 at 12:00 MST. See solicitation for more information.

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