Community Food Project Grants

Program Basics

The Community Food Project Grants Program (CFP) aims to fight food insecurity by supporting the development of community-based food projects in low-income communities.

The program is administered through the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) of the USDA and awards grants to projects that:

  • Meet the food needs of low-income people;
  • Increase self-reliance of communities in providing for their own food needs; and
  • Promotecomprehensive responses to local farm, food, and nutrition issues; or
  • Meet specific neighborhood, local, or state agriculture needs, including needs for infrastructure development and improvement;
  • Planning for long-term solutions; or
  • Create innovative marketing activities that mutually benefit agricultural producers and low-income consumers.

Private non-profit organizations are eligible to receive funding directly, but collaborations with multiple stakeholders or with public and private for-profit entities are recommended.  

Grants are intended to provide a one-time infusion of federal assistance to establish and carry out projects.

Grants may also be for planning projects to assess the food security needs and plan long-term solutions to help ensure food security in communities.The terms of a grant cannot exceed three years.

Most Recent Community Food Project Grant Funding Info – FY2010

Estimated Total Program Funding


Range of Awards

$10,000 - $300,000

Number of Awards


Cost Sharing Requirements

Dollar for dollar matching required, except for T&TA projects

2008 Farm Bill Changes

The 2008 Farm Bill reauthorizes the CFP program as a permanent program with $5 million a year in mandatory funding.

The 2008 Farm Bill also created within the CFP program the Healthy Urban Food Enterprise Development Center, which authorized $1 million in annual mandatory funding for three years ($3 million total) for a new Center to provide technical assistance, information, and subgrants for eligible entities that process, distribute, aggregate, store, and market healthy affordable foods.

After a competitive application process, Wallace Center at Winrock International received the lead HUFED grant from NIFA to establish and run the Center, which will increase access to healthy affordable foods, including locally produced agricultural products, in underserved communities.  Cooperatives, commercial entities, agricultural producers, academic institutions and individuals can apply to the Center for subgrants.

Get more information on the Center and its granting process.

Section 4402 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act (FCEA) of 2008 amends Section 25 of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, to be codified at 7 U.S.C. Section 2034.


The CFP program receives $5 million per year in mandatory funding.In addition, for three years, there will be an additional $1 million run through the CFP Grants Program for the new HealthyUrbanFoodEnterpriseDevelopmentCenter run by Wallace Center at Winrock International.

Community Food Project Grants Funding












Please note:The funding levels in the chart above show the amount of mandatory funding reserved by the 2008 Farm Bill for this program to be provided through USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation.  However, Congress does at times pass subsequent appropriations legislation that caps the funding level for a particular year for a particular program at less than provided by the farm bill in order to use the resulting savings to fund a different program.  Therefore, despite its “mandatory” status, the funding level for a given year could be less than the farm bill dictates should the Appropriations Committee decide to raid the farm bill to fund other programs under its jurisdiction.

Implementation Basics

The CFP program is administered by the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA).  Funding availability announcements are usually made in the late winter and there is more information on the NIFA website.

A six month public comment period on the Request For Applications is triggered when the RFA is released.During the comment period, recommendations for priority topics for the following year’s RFA may be submitted to NIFA.

Get up-to-date application deadlines and links to current RFAs by going to our Farm Bill Programs and Grants page.

The Healthy Urban Food Enterprise Development Center, run by Wallace Center at Winrock International, will make its second round of sub-grants in spring 2011.  The Center is expected to make around 10-14 sub-grants in 2011, ranging from $10,000 to $60,000. More information is at The Healthy Urban Food Enterprise Development Center.

Examples of Past Community Food Project Grant Recipients

Rural Community Foods Planning Team (

In 2007, Dakota Rural Action received $15,165 to perform community food assessments, hold community discussions, and create a Rural Community Foods Planning Team.The team conducted community analyses in one community in each of four targeted counties.The goal was to understand the opportunities for and obstacles to increasing the production and consumption of locally-grown foods in the area.The Rural Community Foods Planning team also developed a three-year plan to improve access to healthy, locally-produced foods in the four targeted counties.

Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (

In 2006, the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group received a Community Food Project grant of $124,000 to provide training and technical assistance to individuals and groups in the Southern United States who were developing projects that promote sustainable food systems.These included, increasing the capacity of farmers’ markets, increasing local food production, promoting “buy local” campaigns, community and school gardening, nutrition and cooking classes, establishing food policy councils, and general public education.

Local Food Systems, Wealth, and Nutrition Project (

The White Earth Land Recovery Project received a Community Food Project Grant of $150,000 in 2007 to create the Local Food Systems, Wealth, and Nutrition project aimed at increasing local food production systems on the White Earth Reservation by constructing community greenhouses, offering workshops on proper gardening techniques/solutions and seed saving, and expanding Tribal tilling services for community and individual gardens.

Additional Resources

NIFA’s Community Food Project Grants Website