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U.S. Department of Agriculture: Healthy Food Financing Initiative – Targeted Small Grants

Deadline: February 14, 2019

The Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) seeks to improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas. The program strives to create and preserve quality jobs and to revitalize low-income communities by providing technical assistance and capital to eligible fresh, healthy food projects in hard to reach, underserved areas.

The HFFI Targeted Small Grants Program will fund projects: 1) intended to expand or preserve the availability of staple and perishable foods in underserved areas with low and moderate-income populations by maintaining or increasing the number of retail outlets that offer an assortment of perishable and staple foods in those areas; and 2) that accept or plan to accept benefits under the supplemental nutrition assistance program established under the Food and Nutrition Act.

HFFI grant awards will allow much needed access to financial resources and expertise necessary to create and expand healthy food availability. Awards will consist of financial assistance and/or technical assistance to overcome higher costs and initial barriers to entry in underserved areas. Awards of financial assistance will be made on a competitive basis. Technical Assistance awards will be made on a non-competitive basis.

Amount: A total of $1,800,000 is available ($400,000 of which is allocated for technical assistance) to make awards that generally range from $25,000-$250,000.

Eligibility: Nonprofit organizations (including institutions of higher education; state and local governments and governmental agencies, authorities, commissions, and food policy councils; tribal governments and tribal governmental agencies, authorities, and food policy councils), for-profit organizations (including a corporation, limited liability company, sole proprietor, and public benefit corporation), and partnerships. Award recipients may subcontract to organizations not eligible to apply provided such organizations are necessary for the conduct of the project.

Applicants must:

  • Plan to execute a project that expands or preserves the availability of staple and perishable food; and will accept benefits under the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP); or
  • Constitute a partnership organized to improve access to fresh, healthy foods and provide financial and/or technical assistance to eligible projects.

And:

  • Demonstrate the intent and ability to serve under-served communities

And possess at least one of the following characteristics:

  • Create or retain quality jobs for low-income residents in the community
    Support regional food systems and locally grown food to the maximum extent possible
  • Be accessible by public transit in areas served by public transit
  • Involve women- or minority – or tribal – owned businesses
  • Receive funding from other sources, including other federal agencies
  • Be located in, or serve, a rural area

Partnership applicants must meet eligibility criteria above and fulfill all of the following requirements:

  • Be organized to improve access to healthy food
  • Expand or preserve the availability of staple foods by maintaining or increasing the number of retail outlets in underserved and low or moderate-income areas
  • Demonstrate ability to provide grants, loans, or technical assistance to eligible projects and evaluate progress
  • Engage local partners from across sectors (e.g., public sector, industry representatives, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), community and business development organizations, food access organizations, food policy councils) in promoting or delivering HFFI financial and technical resources
  • Demonstrate ability to leverage federal HFFI resources locally
  • Be a collaboration between the public sector and one or more private entities, such as private businesses, foundations and funders’ collaboratives, community development financial institutions, community development organizations, food policy councils, food systems, and food access organizations

Link: https://www.investinginfood.com/what-we-do/

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