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Grants to Rhode Island Nonprofits, For-Profits, and Individuals to Enhance the Local Food and Seafood Industry

Local Agriculture and Seafood Act (LASA) Grants Program

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) - Division of Agriculture


Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #142101

Grant Description

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Grants of up to $20,000 to Rhode Island nonprofits, for-profits, individual producers, and producer groups to promote the development, marketing, and growth of seafood and other local food within the state. This program is intended to benefit and strengthen Rhode Island’s local food industry.

Project priorities for the 2020-2021 LASA Grants Program are:

  • Supporting the entry, growth, and/or sustainability of small or beginning agriculture producers (including aquaculture producers) and fishermen/women. Additionally, supporting farmers and fishers that are Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), and/or
  • Foster new cooperatives, partnerships, and/or collaborations among Rhode Island producers and producer-supporting organizations, and/or
  • Support capacity building for new products or new sales channels with clearly defined markets, assistance with farmers/ fishers adapting to new methods of selling to customers (online, home delivery, shipping), diversification of market channels and development of more on farm processing capacity, and/or
  • Protect the future availability of agricultural land for producers, including farm transition planning and implementation, and/or
  • Assistance with on farm Food Safety improvements assistance, including the developing of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans, Food Safety Plans and compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and/or
  • Foster and build capacity for markets connecting local farms and fishers with Rhode Island’s food insecure communities.

Eligible Projects

Projects/programs must serve at least one of the following purposes in order to be eligible for funding through the LASA Grants Program:

  1. Assist in the marketing of Rhode Island grown agricultural products and local seafood for the purpose of sale and promotion.
  2. Enhance the economic competitiveness of Rhode Island grown agricultural products and local seafood.
  3. Provide financial and technical assistance support to organizations and producers for activities and programs which enhance the economic viability of local agriculture, and support the development of a locally-based, safe and sustainable food system.
  4. Perform other activities necessary to facilitate the success and viability of the state’s agricultural and seafood sectors.

In addition to providing grants for projects or programs, the LASA Grants Program may also provide capital grants to small or beginning Rhode Island farmers and aquaculture producers to support the growth and sustainability of Rhode Island’s farming and aquaculture industries.

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Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants:
For-profit farmers, fishermen/women, and producer groups are eligible to apply as are nonprofit organizations. A grant may be paid to a farmer, individual, business (e.g. LLC), or nonprofit organization.

Applicants must be based in the State of Rhode Island. The Advisory Committee will value geographic diversity in the applicant pool when making award determinations.

Only small and/or beginning farmers, or producer groups of small or beginning farmers, are eligible to apply for capital grants (Aquaculture operators are considered farmers in this regard).

All costs associated with developing or submitting a proposal in response to this request, or with providing oral or written clarification of proposal content, are ineligible expenses and shall be the sole responsibility of the applicant. The State assumes no responsibility for these costs.

Ineligible activities include: non-project related travel, scholarships, general operating funds, on-going capital campaigns, political or policy advocacy campaigns, conference/workshop attendance fees, etc.

All costs associated with developing or submitting a proposal in response to this request, or with providing oral or written clarification of proposal content, are ineligible expenses and shall be the sole responsibility of the applicant. The State assumes no responsibility for these costs.

For a list of ineligible projects, see http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/agriculture/documents/lasa-rfp.pdf#page=5.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Technical Assistance:
Technical Assistance will be offered via a webinar hosted by the Rhode Island Food Policy Council (RIFPC). The webinar will take place on Tuesday May 11, 2021 via Zoom and made available on both the RI DEM and RIFPC websites.

Additional technical assistance will be provided, on a limited basis, by emailing the RIFPC.

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline for applications has been extended through June 13, 2021, at 11:59 pm.

Key Dates:
-Request for Applications Released: April 15, 2021
-Applications due: June 13, 2021 at 11:59 PM
-Awards announced: June 2021
-Grant Agreement Execution: August 2021
-Grant End Date: August 30, 2023
* Dates may be subject to change.

Q&A for LASA applicants: https://rifoodcouncil.org/qa-for-lasa-applicants/

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum grant award available is $20,000. Overhead and/or administrative costs are limited to 10% of total budget proposal.

Term of Contract:

Projects may be up to 24 months in duration.

Contact Information:

Online application: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VDPRLB3

Grant-related questions should be directed to Ananda Fraser, Chief Program Development in DEM’s Division of Agriculture at 222-2781, ext. 72411 or via email to Ananda.Fraser@dem.ri.gov.

For technical assistance, email the RIFPC at info@rifoodcouncil.org.

RI DEM
235 Promenade Street
Providence, RI 02908

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