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Grants to New York City Nonprofits for Nutrition and Emergency Food Programs for Low-Income Residents


Geographic Focus

USA: New York CityNew York

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Seed Grant

Food Bank for New York City and United Way of New York City (UWNYC)

Grant Provider's 990

Agency: Foundation

GrantWatch ID #164377

Grant Description

Grants of up to $30,000 to New York City nonprofit organizations for activities that address the nutrition and emergency food needs of low-income residents, including those arising from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Funding is intended to support a range of projects, including services related to outreach and benefits access, wellness programs, organizational enhancements, or nutrition education.

For the 2022 Seed Grant program year, non-profit organizations are invited to submit projects that provide organizations with the ability to develop or improve upon innovative ways of confronting emergency food and/or nutrition needs of low-income individuals. 

Funders will prioritize Seed Grant projects that focus on community healthy food access challenges exacerbated during the Covid-19 coronavirus public health and financial crisis and/or address existing ongoing, persistent need(s) within the emergency food network will be prioritized. Projects contributing to that increased expand the capacity for emergency food programs (EFPs) to respond to increased service levels AND demonstrate ability to be replicable, sustainable, and relevant beyond the current crisis are preferred. Projects should meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Increase or enhance emergency food resources or create a diversified resource base through community partnerships
  • Increase organizational capacity and effectiveness to provide emergency food services and access to healthy foods.
  • Link emergency food providers and their guests to services that could reduce dependence on emergency food.

Examples of eligible projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Linking EFPs to resources that increase the number of volunteers serving the emergency food network now due to increased number of visitors, such as projects that increase providers capability to form partnerships and linkages to support consistent connections to volunteers.
    • i.e., willing neighborhood groups, emerging crowd source volunteer connection platforms, community and faith-based organizations, and other volunteer services etc.
    • i.e., Mobilizing a call center to manage requests for home delivery requests by a volunteer workforce of drivers' delivery groceries in their neighborhood.
  • Increasing emergency food resources in less-traditional distribution models.
    • i.e., Starting or expanding an urban farm distributing harvests free of charge to the community and training community members in urban agriculture skills.
  • Developing training programs for at risk individuals to increase skills for future job placement

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  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- Applicant is an established community-based organization in New York City that works with a food-insecure population.
- Nonprofit with valid 501(c)(3) status with adequate facilities and resources to sustain the proposed project after the one-year grant. If using a Fiscal Conduit, the following documents are required:
o verification of the applying agency’s EIN number
o a letter from the fiscal conduit outlining the relevant dates that their 501c3 status will cover the applying agency
o the 501c3 tax-exempt status letter from the organization acting as Fiscal Conduit
- Organizations holding direct HPNAP contracts (i.e., Food Pantries, Soup Kitchens, Food Recovery Operations, and Special Nutrition Initiatives) are eligible to apply for Seed Grant funding if the funding requested is to support a NEW project not already receiving HPNAP funds.
- Seed Grants are ONE-TIME, NON-RENEWABLE awards. Organizations can apply for Seed Grant funding annually if the project description is unique (i.e.. different site, different service or target population, or different service plan from a past Seed Grant project). Organizations may receive Seed Grant funding only once within a five-year period.
- Must maintain an organization bank account and can provide proof upon request. Personal accounts are not eligible.
- *Special Eligibility Requirements for urban farming projects; Applicant must own or lease the proposed land/rooftop space or provide documentation to support its right to use the land/rooftop space indefinitely.
o Have at least 1,000 square feet of land or rooftop space dedicated for this project.
o Provide a letter from a structural engineer verifying feasibility of the project, if applying for a rooftop farm.

Seed grants do not cover food purchases, or start-up costs for new Feeding Programs (such as establishing a new food pantry). Former Seed Grant recipients from 2016 onwards are not eligible to apply for this funding cycle.

Projects CANNOT include establishing new pantries and soup kitchens or purchasing food for existing providers.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Want to learn what makes a strong application? Food Bank and United Way will be hosting an optional Seed Grant Application Workshop via Zoom on Tuesday, January 11th from 11am to 12pm (workshop will also be recorded and made available to the network). Register at

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are due January 20th, 2022.

View a recording of the Application Workshop from January 11th:

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Size of Grant:

Selected projects may receive up to $30,000.

Term of Contract:

This is a 6-month grant running from March 1 – September 30, 2022. All funds must be spent by September 15, 2022.

Contact Information:

For more information, and to apply online:

Food Bank For New York City

United Way of New York City

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