February 17, 2015
On February 13, 2015, the USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) posted a Request for Applications (RFA) for the 2015 round of the Community Food Project Grants Program (CFP), with total grant funding available nearly doubled to $9 million thanks to the 2014 Farm Bill. NSAC campaigned to double the funding for CFP in the farm bill and in the final bill Congress increased the funding from $5 million to $9 million a year.
Despite the increase in funding, NIFA unfortunately did not provide either a press release or a Federal Register notice announcing the release of the CFP RFA. This marks the second consecutive year that the RFA has been released only on the NIFA webpage (late on a Friday before a three-day weekend), making it very difficult for prospective applicants to know about the RFA unless one happened to be checking the correct webpage.
Approximately $9 million will be available for this funding cycle. Applications are due 5:00pm EST on March 17, 2015.
Only electronic applications will be accepted via Grants.gov. NIFA reminds applicants that for new users to Grants.gov, the registration process can take as long as 2 weeks to complete, making it critical to begin the registration process as soon as possible.
For abstracts of past funded projects, please click here.
For this round of funding, two types of grants are available:
Both Community Food Projects and Planning Projects must provide a dollar-for-dollar match for all federal funds awarded, and may provide the match through cash and/or in-kind contributions, including third-party in-kind contributions. Non-federal funding matches may come from state government, local government, other non-profit entities, or private sources, but not other federal sources.
Community Food Projects: An Overview
Initiated in 1996, CFP is a competitive grant program supporting the alleviation of food insecurity in low-income communities through projects which:
Eligible entities include public food program service providers, tribal organizations, or private nonprofit entities, including gleaners, meeting specific requirements as set out in the RFA. Among other requirements, applicants must have experience in one or more of the following areas:
The RFA also states that applicants should collaborate with 1 or more local partner organizations to achieve at least 1 hunger-free communities goal.
Farm Bill Changes
The 2014 Farm Bill provided for an increase in mandatory funding to $9 million starting in FY 2015 and an extension of the maximum grant period from three years to five years.
NIFA has announced a webinar for potential applicants to take place this Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. To connect to the webinar, click on the following link: http://nifa-connect.nifa.usda.gov/cfp2015.
Stakeholder Input on Request for Application
USDA also seeks stakeholder comments about this Request for Application (RFA) to consider in developing the next Community Food Projects RFA. Comments can be submitted via e-mail to: Policy@nifa.usda.gov. Comments should state that you are responding to the Community Food Projects RFA. The deadline to submit comments is August 12, 2015.