NIFA Accepting Applications for the Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program

September 29, 2017

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), a federal agency within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) opened the application period for the Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program (CFPCGP), with applications due December 4, 2017. There is approximately $8,640,000 available and applicants are eligible to receive up to $400,000 in grant funding through the program as detailed below.

The primary goals of the CFPCGP are to:

  • Meet the food needs of low-income individuals 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;
  • 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; 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.

Applicant Eligibility: Public food program service providers, tribal organizations, or private nonprofit entities, including gleaners.

Eligible Projects: There are two projects types under this program:

Community Food Projects (CFP) – The purpose of the CFP is to support the development of projects with a one-time infusion of federal dollars to make such projects self-sustaining.

  • Funding Levels: Up to $125,000 for a single year or up to $400,000 over four years.
  • Duration: Applicants may request one, two, three, or four years of funding, but in all cases, the grant term may not exceed four years for any proposal.
  • Cost Sharing Requirement: A dollar for dollar match is required for all federal funds awarded.
  • Examples of CFP Projects 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 a PP is to complete a plan toward the improvement of community food security in keeping with the primary goals of the program. PPs are to focus on a defined community and describe in detail the activities and outcomes of the planning project.

  • Funding Levels: Up to $35,000 for the total project period.
  • Duration: The maximum PP award period shall not exceed three years.
  • Cost Sharing Requirement: A dollar for dollar match is required for all federal funds awarded.
  • 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 will be 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; or
  • Develop new resources and strategies to help reduce food insecurity in the community and prevent food insecurity in the future by:
    • Developing creative food resources;
    • Coordinating food services with park and recreation programs and other community based outlets to reduce barriers to access; or
    • 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. 

The full Request for Concept Proposals can be found here.

For more information on this grant or how to apply with Morrison & Company’s assistance, please contact the Morrison Grants Team by email at grants@morrisonco.net or call us at 530.893.4764.

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