USDA grants available to support local and regional food systems

Apply for a USDA grant to support your organization’s direct-to-consumer markets, local and regional food markets and enterprises, or value-added agricultural products. In particular, projects can help underserved local and regional agricultural entities respond to COVID-19 disruptions and impacts.

Deadlines: June 21 for Farmers Marketing Promotion Program and Local Food Promotion Program. July 6 for Regional Food Systems Partnerships.

All grants require matching funds for community organizations. This year (FY2021), there are differing match amounts within each specific grant program (i.e. 10% vs. 25% matches, based on the funding source).

 

In the last decade, the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program has helped generate new income sources for small, beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers; increase local food access for underserved and vulnerable populations; and support value-added and niche products.

 

Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP)

• $38.45 million supports direct producer-to-consumer, producer-to-retail, direct producer-to-restaurant and direct producer-to-institutional marketing to increase access to and availability of locally and regionally produced agricultural products.

• Examples of project activities: training vendors, developing value-added products, promoting markets, and targeted marketing to retain vendors and consumers.

• Capacity Building projects range from $50,000 to $250,000. Community Development Training and Technical Assistance projects range from $100,000 to $500,000.

• Eligible entities include agricultural businesses and cooperatives, producer networks and associations, CSA networks and associations, food councils, local governments, nonprofit organizations, public benefit organizations, economic development organizations, regional farmers market authorities, and tribal governments.

 

Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP)

• $38.45 million supports direct producer-to-consumer marketing, local and regional food markets and enterprises, and value-added agricultural products.

• Examples of project activities: develop business plans, improve infrastructure, expand value-added product offerings, and developing a food incubator.

• Planning projects range from $25,000 to $100,000. Implementation projects range from $100,000 to $500,000.

• Eligible entities include agricultural businesses and cooperatives, producer networks and associations, CSA networks and associations, food councils, local governments, nonprofit organizations, public benefit organizations, economic development organizations, regional farmers market authorities, and tribal governments.

 

Since 2010, the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program has invested $205 million across all 50 states and territories for 1,542 projects.

 

Regional Foods System Partnership (RFSP)

• $15.3 million supports direct producer-to-consumer marketing, local and regional food markets and enterprises, and value-added agricultural products.

• Examples of project activities: convening partners to define the regional food system scope and structure, conducting feasibility studies, prioritizing strategies to fill food systems gaps, providing technical assistance for partnership activities such as fiscal sponsorship, and applying for other programs and resources that align with regional food system efforts.

• RFSP Planning and Design projects range from $100,000 to $250,000. Implementation and Expansion projects range from $250,000 to $1,000,000.

• The project is specifically for partnerships between one or more eligible entity and one or more eligible partner. Eligible entities: producers, farmer or rancher cooperatives, producer networks or associations, producer-based business ventures, food councils, CSA networks or associations, local governments, nonprofit organizations, public benefit organizations, economic development organizations, regional farmers market authorities, and tribal governments. Eligible partners: state agencies or regional authorities, philanthropic corporations, private corporations, institutions of higher education, or accredited financial organization.

USDA strongly encourages projects to support smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged producers, veteran producers, and underserved communities.

 

We have an opportunity to transform our nation’s food system with a greater focus on resilient local and regional food systems.” Secretary Vilsack

 

The Food Corridor will host grant webinars and work with shared kitchens to help applicants navigate the application process.

For those in the local and regional food sector but not applying: Please consider being a peer reviewer and helping USDA select grant applicants.

 

Notice: This document is strictly for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice nor create an attorney/client relationship.

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