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2018 UWNYC Seed Grants

Grants to New York City Nonprofits for Urban
Farming and Nutrition Support Programs

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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United Way of New York City (UWNYC) - Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

02/07/18 5:00 PM


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Grants to New York City community-based nonprofit organizations for urban farming activities and other projects that meet the nutrition needs of low-income households. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend the January 9 webinar or January 10 in-person meeting; the deadline to RSVP is January 8.

For the 2018 Seed Grant program year, United Way of New York City is continuing to accept applications related to urban farming projects as well as additional 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. These projects may include nutrition education, wellness programs, organizational enhancements, as well as outreach and benefits access related services in three categories:

1. Resource Enhancement and Community Partnerships: Projects that increase or enhance healthy food access and emergency food resources or create a diversified resource base through community partnerships.

-Examples are projects to develop and/or utilize food growers, food hubs, farmers’ markets, community garden and urban farming programs—including rooftop farms, and indoor/outdoor hydroponic systems—or other community resources. Nutrition education projects, including curriculum development, with an emphasis on a ‘train the trainer’ approach will also be considered.

2. Organizational Capacity and Effectiveness: Projects that increase organizational capacity and effectiveness to provide emergency food services and access to healthy foods.

-Examples are projects that provide resources, technical assistance and/or training to emergency food providers for fundraising, bookkeeping, volunteer services, inventory management or other areas specific to emergency food services.

3. Linkage to Services: Projects that can link emergency food providers and their guests to services that could reduce dependence on emergency food.

-Examples include projects to expand outreach referral services to connect at risk individuals to medical care and social services and technology to develop training programs for at risk individuals to create linkages and increase skills for future job placement.

Note: Projects that address a persistent need within the emergency food network and can be replicated for broader use are of particular interest.

Seed Grant Selection Criteria:

In the project proposal, applicants must clearly state how the project will address the needs of the target population, how the project fits within the applicant’s general scope of community services, and how the project will be sustained/maintained/continued after the grant period.

Applications meeting the eligibility criteria will be reviewed by the grant review committee and scored based on the following:
-Strength, originality, and feasibility of described project
-Relationship of deliverables and budget to project description and goals
-Alignment of project with the organization’s mission and community need
-Ability to demonstrate continuation of project after Seed Grant period
-Fiscal solvency of applying agency
-Ability to meet the outcomes. Applicants are encouraged to identify a expert or organization that will provide step-by-step technical assistance. UWNYC can assist with selection of this expert, if needed. A memorandum of understanding describing the proposed statement of work may be submitted with the application.
-Description of a reasonable project budget. This is a one-year start-up grant and funding is intended for costs that contribute directly to program outcomes and position the organization to sustain the project after the grant year ends.

For urban farming projects in Category 1. Resource Enhancement and Community Partnerships Resource Enhancement and Community Partnerships:
-Description of a plan for distributing the farm-grown produce to a low-income, food insecure population free of charge during the one-year grant period.
-The produce may be sold after the grant period, if needed, provided it is not cost-prohibitive for the target population.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 164377

Estimated Size of Grant:

Project budget must not exceed $30,000.

Term of Contract:

Project implementation timeline can be determined by applicant and can extend through a total of one year from April 1, 2018 through March 30, 2019.

Seed Grants are one-time only grants and non-renewable. 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).

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Seed Grant Eligibility:
-Applicant is a community-based organization located in New York City that works with a low-income, homeless, and/or food-insecure population.
-Applicant is a nonprofit with 501(c)(3) status with adequate facilities and resources to sustain the proposed project after the one-year grant.
-Organizations that hold a direct contract with HPNAP (ie. 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.
-Applicant has a bank account and can provide proof upon request.
-Applicant submits a complete application on time.
-Multiple applications (i.e. two applications in two distinct categories) will not be considered – one application per organization.
-Own or lease the proposed land/rooftop space or provide documentation to support its right to use the land/rooftop space indefinitely.
-Have at least 1,000 square feet of land or rooftop space dedicated for this project.
-Provide a letter from a structural engineer verifying feasibility of project, if applying for a rooftop farm.

Pre-proposal Conference:

UWNYC will offer two training sessions; attendance is not required but is highly encouraged.

-January 9, 2018; 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM: In person meeting at UWNYC, 205 East 42nd Street, 13th fl., New York, NY 10017

-January 10, 2018; 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM: Webinar – Instructions to be provided after registration

Registration by 2:00 PM on January 8, 2018 is required to attend.

Pre-Application Information:

Seed Grant applications and required documents must be submitted and uploaded to the UWNYC website by 5:00 PM on February 7, 2018.

Once submitted, you will receive a confirmation email indicating that your application has been received.

Grant decisions will be made by March 15, 2018; notifications will be sent to the contact person and the Executive Director via email.

Contact Information:

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

Register for an application workshop:

Complete online form and upload required documents:

Sylvia Pong

United Way of New York City
205 E 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York City;   New York