Community Food Projects should be designed to (1): (A) meet the food needs of low-income people; (B) increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for their own food needs; and (C) promote comprehensive responses to local food, farm, and nutrition issues; and/or (2) meet specific state, local, or neighborhood food and agriculture needs for (A) infrastructure improvement and development; (B) planning for long-term solutions; or (C) the creation of innovative marketing activities that mutually benefit agricultural producers and low-income consumers.
Proposed projects should seek comprehensive solutions to problems across all food system levels, not just short-term food relief. This point is emphasized because some previously submitted proposals were denied funding because they were designed primarily for expanding efforts in food relief and assistance, or for connecting established or partially established programs (such as community gardens and farmers’ markets), with little evidence of strategic planning and participation by stakeholders. Proposals should emphasize a food system and/or food security approach and show evidence of information sharing, coalition building, and substantial outreach and linkages to the community.
The USDA and several other federal agencies offer programs that may help strengthen the impact and success of CFPs. These include:
- Food recovery and gleaning efforts;
- Connecting low-income urban consumers with rural food producers;
- Helping citizens leave public assistance and achieve self-sufficiency; and
- Using micro-enterprise and/or development projects related to community food needs.
Only private, nonprofit entities meeting the following three requirements are eligible to receive a CFP or PP grant: (a) have experience in the area of (i) community food work, particularly concerning small and medium-size farms, including the provision of food to people in low-income communities and the development of new markets in low-income communities for agricultural producers; or (ii) job training and business development activities for food-related activities in low-income communities; (b) demonstrate competency to implement a project, provide fiscal accountability, collect data, and prepare reports and other necessary documentation; and (c) demonstrate a willingness to share information with researchers, evaluators, practitioners, and other interested parties, including a plan for dissemination of results.
Estimated Total Program Funding: $5,000,000
Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: Yes
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