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Community Food Projects (CFP) Competitive Grants Program

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Tribes, and Public Food
Programs to Improve Community Food Resiliency and Access

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

12/04/17 5:00 PM ET Receipt


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Grants to USA nonprofit organizations, tribal organizations, and public food program service providers to improve community-level food resiliency and access. Funding is intended to address the food needs of low-income communities, increase self-reliance in community food systems, promote local food access, and meet agricultural needs.

The primary goals of the Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program (CFPCGP) are to:
-Meet the food needs of low-income individuals through food distribution, community outreach to assist in participation in Federally assisted nutrition programs, or improving access to food as part of a comprehensive service;
-Increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for the food needs of the communities;
-Promote comprehensive responses to local food access, farm, and nutrition issues; and
-Meet specific state, local or neighborhood food and agricultural needs including needs relating to: equipment necessary for the efficient operation of a project; planning for long-term solutions; or the creation of innovative marketing activities that mutually benefit agricultural producers and low-income consumers.

Community Food Projects are intended to bring together stakeholders from the distinct parts of the food system and to foster understanding of national food security trends and how they might improve local food systems.

NIFA is soliciting applications for the CFPGP under the following areas: (1) Community Food Projects (CFP) and (2) Planning Projects (PP).

The purpose of the CFP is to support the development of projects with a one-time infusion of federal dollars to make such projects self-sustaining. CFPs should be designed to create community-based food projects with objectives, activities and outcomes that are in alignment with CFPCGP primary goals. The purpose of a Planning Project (PP) is to complete a plan toward the improvement of community food security in keeping with the primary goals of the CFPCGP. PPs are to focus on a defined community and describe in detail the activities and outcomes of the planning project.

Preference will be given to CFPs and PPs designed to:

(i) Develop linkages between two or more sectors of the food system;

(ii) Support the development of entrepreneurial projects;

(iii) Develop innovative connections between the for-profit and nonprofit food sectors;

(iv) Encourage long-term planning activities, and multi-system, interagency approaches with collaborations from multiple stakeholders that build the long-term capacity of communities to address the food and agricultural problems of the communities, such as food policy councils and food planning associations; or

(v) Develop new resources and strategies to help reduce food insecurity in the community and prevent food insecurity in the future by: a. developing creative food resources; b. Coordinating food services with park and recreation programs and other community based outlets to reduce barriers to access; or c. Creating nutrition education programs for at-risk populations to enhance food-purchasing and food-preparation skills and to heighten awareness of the connection between diet and health.

Examples of CFP Projects include, but are not limited to, 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 PPs include, but are not limited to, community food assessments' coordination of collaboration development plan, GIS analysis, food sovereignty study, and farm-to-institution exploration. All projects must involve low-income participants.

Construction and Renovation: With prior approval, and in accordance with applicable Federal cost principles, grant funds may be used to plan, acquire, or construct a building or facility, or to acquire land; and for improvements, alterations, renovations, or repairs to land or buildings, necessary to carry out a funded project under this program. However, requests to use grant funds for such purposes must demonstrate that such expenditures are essential to achieving the major purpose for which the grant request is made.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 152478

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Community Food Projects (CFP): No single CFP award shall exceed $125,000 in any single year or more than $400,000 over four years.

Planning Projects (PP): No single PP award shall exceed $35,000 for the total project period.

Term of Contract:

Community Food Projects (CFP): Applicants may request one, two, three or four years of funding, but in all cases, the grant term may not exceed 4 years for any proposal.

Planning Projects (PP): The maximum PP award period shall not exceed three years since it is for planning purposes.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

1. CFP, and PP Eligibility

Applicants for CFP and PP must meet the following eligibility here. Public food program service providers, tribal organizations, or private nonprofit entities, including gleaners, meeting the following four requirements are eligible to receive a CFP, or PP award:

(1) (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; (ii) job training and business development activities for food-related activities in low-income communities; or (iii) efforts to reduce food insecurity in the community, including food distribution, improving access to services, or coordinating services and programs;

(2) demonstrate competency to implement a project, provide fiscal accountability, collect data, and prepare reports and other necessary documentation;

(3) demonstrate a willingness to share information with researchers, evaluators, practitioners, and other interested parties, including a plan for dissemination of results; and

(4) collaborate with 1 or more local partner organizations to achieve at least 1 hunger-free communities goal.

Failure to meet an eligibility criterion by the time of application deadline may result in the application being excluded from consideration or, even though an application may be reviewed, will preclude NIFA from making an award.

2. Partners and Collaborators

Applicants for CFP and PP awards are encouraged to seek and create partnerships with public or private, nonprofit or for-profit entities, including links with academic institutions (including minority-serving colleges and universities), and/or other appropriate professionals, community-based organizations, local government entities and Promise Zone lead applicants/organizations or implementation partners, and StrikeForce area coordinators and/or partnering entities. Only the applicant must meet the eligibility requirements. Project partners and collaborators need not meet the eligibility requirements. Award recipients may subcontract to organizations not eligible to apply provided such organizations are necessary for the successful completion of the project.

Fiscal Agent:

If an institution/organization cannot accept Federal funds directly, a letter must be included in the application stating that in the event the application results in an award, the award funds must be administered through a fiscal agent organization on their behalf. This agent must be identified in the letter from the applicant and the letter must be countersigned by an authorized representative of the fiscal agent organization. The letter should include the fiscal agent’s point of contact, address, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address. This letter is to be included as an attachment to Field 12, Other Attachments (Part IV.B.3.c.). In the event an application is recommended for funding, NIFA will request that both the applicant school or institution/organization and the fiscal agent organization submit complete management information.

Applications may only be submitted by public food program service providers, tribal organizations, or private nonprofit entities, including gleaners. A letter stating the nonprofit status should be included with the application. Failure to meet an eligibility criterion by the application deadline may result in the application being excluded from consideration or, even though an application may be reviewed, will preclude NIFA from making an award.

Subcontract Restriction:

The applicant shall perform a substantive portion of the project and no more than 50 percent of a CFP or PP, as determined by budget expenditures, may be sub awarded. Projects may divide their budget allocations between partners as it fits their work plan. (For additional knowledge or expertise that is not available within the applicant organization, funds for expert consultation may be included in the “All Other Direct Costs” section of the proposed budget.)

Pre-proposal Conference:

A webinar will be held on Monday, October 16, 2017 at 2:00 PM Eastern Time for potential applicants.

Pre-Application Information:

CFP and PP applicants MUST provide matching on a dollar-for-dollar basis for all federal funds awarded. Match must be documented for all project years at the time the application is submitted. CFP and PP grantees shall provide matching funds through cash and/or in-kind contributions, including third-party in-kind contributions fairly evaluated, including facilities, equipment, or services.

The non-federal share of the funding may come from state government, local government, other non-profit entities, or private sources. Federal money cannot be used to match unless it is expressly authorized to be used for this purpose. Examples of qualifying matching contributions may include direct costs such as: rent for office space used exclusively for the funded project; duplication or postage costs; and staff time from an entity other than the applicant for job training or nutrition education.

Applications must be received by 5:00 PM Eastern Time on December 4, 2017.

Only electronic applications may be submitted via to NIFA in response to this RFA.

Prior to preparing an application, it is recommended that the Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) first contact an Authorized Representative (AR, also referred to as Authorized Organizational Representative, or AOR) to determine if the organization is prepared to submit electronic applications through If not (e.g., the institution/organization is new to the electronic grant application process through, then the one-time registration process must be completed PRIOR to submitting an application. It can take as long as two weeks to complete the registration process so it is critical to begin as soon as possible.

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Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

The Adobe Connect link for the October 16 webinar is:

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Programmatic Contacts:

Dr. Paul Cotton, Director, National Program Leader
P: 202-401-6010
F: 202-401-4888

National Institute of Food and Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Mail Stop 2225
Washington DC 20250-2225

Dr. Jane Clary Loveless, National Program Leader
P: 202-720-3891
F: 202-(202)720-9366

Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Mail Stop 2225
Washington, DC 20250-2225

Administrative/Business Contact:

Susan Bowman, Awards Management Branch Chief
P: 202-401-4324
F: 202-401-6271

Office of Grants and Financial Management
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Mail Stop 2271
Washington, DC 20250-2271

Adriene Woodin, Awards Management Branch Chief
P: 202-401-4320
F: 202-401-6271

Office of Grants and Financial Management
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Mail Stop 2271
Washington, DC 20250-2271

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URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming