NSAC's Blog

Funding Available for Community Food Projects

November 1, 2012

USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has issued a Request for Applications (RFA) for the Community Food Project Grants Program (CFP).  CFP is a grant program that addresses food insecurity in low income communities by supporting the development of community-based food projects including projects that address nutritional needs by promoting local food and farm connections.

Applications are due November 28, 2012 and all grant applications must be submitted electronically at http://www.grants.gov.

There is $5 million available for this round to support two types of grants.  Community Food Project grants of up to $125,000 per year (or up to $300,000 over a three-year period, the maximum grant term that may be requested) will provide a one-time infusion of funds to help projects become self-sustaining.  Planning Project grants of up to $25,000 will help groups assess food security needs and plan for long-term solutions in low-income communities.

There is a dollar-for-dollar match requirement, through cash and/or in-kind contributions, including third party in-kind contributions and facilities.

The primary purpose of CFP grant funds is to support projects that:

  • Meet the food needs of low-income individuals;
  • Increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for the food needs of the communities;
  • Promote comprehensive responses to local food, farm, and nutrition issues; and
  • Meet specific state, local or neighborhood food and agricultural needs including needs relating to:
    • Infrastructure improvement and development;
    • Planning for long-term solutions; or
    • The creation of innovative marketing activities that mutually benefit agricultural producers and low-income consumers

Only private, non-profit entities are eligible for CFP grants.  Applicants must have experience in the area of community food work, particularly concerning small and mid-sized farms, sustainable food production, and development of new markets in low-income communities or in providing job training and business development experience for food related activities in low-income communities.

According to the RFA, examples of CFP projects might include “community gardens with market stands, value chain projects, food hubs, farmers’ markets, farm-to-institutions projects, and marketing & consumer cooperatives.  All projects must involve low-income participants.”

Examples of Planning Project grants might include “community food assessments …, GIS analysis, food sovereignty study, and farm-to-institution exploration. All projects must involve low-income participants.”  They can also design plans for food policy councils or planning associations.

For further information, refer to the RFA or contact NIFA’s Jane M. Clary at jclary@nifa.usda.gov or (202) 720-3891.

You can also watch the CFP webinar from October 16 here.



Categories: Grants and Programs, Local & Regional Food Systems, Nutrition & Food Access

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