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U.S. Department of Agriculture: Local Food Promotion Program

Deadline: May 7, 2018

The Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) aims to increase domestic consumption of and access to locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets, by developing, improving, expanding, and providing outreach, training, and technical assistance to, or assisting in the development, improvement, and expansion of local and regional food businesses (including those that are not direct producer-to-consumer markets) that process, distribute, aggregate, or store locally or regionally produced food products. A local or regional food business is an organization or business entity that functions as an intermediary between producers (farmers or growers) and buyers by carrying out one or more local or regional food supply chain activities—including aggregating, storing, processing, and/or distributing locally or regionally produced food products—to meet local and regional market demand. Examples include but are not limited to: food hubs, food aggregators, food distributors, food wholesalers, food processors, and other value-added production enterprises, such as shared-use kitchen or kitchen incubator operations.

LFPP awards Planning and Implementation projects:

Planning projects are used in the planning stages of establishing, improving, or expanding a local and regional food business that will: 1) increase domestic consumption of and access to locally and regionally produced agricultural products; and 2) develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets. Activities include developing, improving, expanding, and providing outreach, training, and technical assistance to such businesses. Projects may include, but are not limited to:

  • Completing a feasibility study for a new food hub
  • Hiring one or more expert(s) to provide technical assistance to implement a local/regional food transportation system
  • Hiring one or more expert(s) to provide training on managing a local/regional food storage or processing facility
    Devising a business plan to implement and conduct a project as described below

Implementation projects are used to establish a new local and regional food business, or to improve or expand an existing local or regional food business that will: 1) increase domestic consumption of and access to locally and regionally produced agricultural products; and 2) develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets. Activities include developing, improving, expanding, and providing outreach, training, and technical assistance to, or assisting in the development, improvement, and expansion of such businesses. Projects may include, but are not limited to:

  • Establishing or expanding the scope of local/regional food incubator programs
  • Establishing, expanding, or diversifying the operation of existing community kitchens and food processing facilities
  • Instituting individual or group-based Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) certification for sellers of local food into institutional or wholesale marketing channels
  • Aggregating from producers to wholesale buyers through a website or virtual marketplace
  • Exploring opportunities for food hubs/aggregators to create greater institutional and retail market access for local food through joint business networks
  • Cultivating new wholesale market channels for locally grown specialty and culturally appropriate foods
  • Helping urban farmers scale up production and increase their farm-based income by creating new wholesale market opportunities
  • Investigating and implementing more cost-effective means of transportation for local food supply chains through backhaul, route optimization, and/or other operational efficiencies
  • Providing training and/or technical assistance to accomplish any of, or related to, any of the above activities

Priority consideration will be given to projects that: 1) benefit communities located in areas of concentrated poverty with limited access to supermarkets as defined as a Low Income/Low Food Access by one of the four major map layers on the ERS Food Access Research Atlas map (http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-access-research-atlas/go-to-the-atlas.aspx); and 2) are implemented in and support agri-businesses located in rural areas or towns that have populations of 50,000 or less. At least 10 percent of the total funding through LFPP will be awarded to these projects.

Amount: Approximately $13,400,000 is available. Planning grants will range from $25,000-$100,000; Implementation grants will range from $100,000-$500,000. A 25% match is required for both planning and implementation grants.

Eligibility: Domestic entities owned, operated, and located within the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, tribal Governments, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Eligible applicants include: agricultural businesses, agricultural cooperatives, producer networks, producer associations, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) networks, CSA associations, local governments, nonprofit corporations, public benefit corporations, economic development corporations, regional farmers market authorities, and tribal governments.

The applicant may subcontract or subaward with partners and collaborators. Only the applicant must meet the eligibility requirements. Partners and collaborators may come from private or public, for-profit or nonprofit entities, including but not limited to:

  • New and beginning farmers and ranchers (individuals or entities that have not operated a farm or ranch for more than 10 years and substantially participate in the operation)
  • Rural enterprises (small and emerging private businesses in rural areas that have fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenue)
  • Agri-businesses
  • Local government entities

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=301385

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