Grant Application Assistance for Community Food Projects

The FY 2012 Application Period is currently closed. The FY 2012 Application Due Date was November 17, 2011. FY 2012 Application

Step 1: Review the Grant Application Guides

We understand that interpreting federal grant requirements can sometimes be difficult, especially when trying to fit national terminology into local circumstances. That is why CFSC created application guides, below, designed to complement the official USDA Request for Applications (RFA). The guides will help potential applicants:

  • Determine eligibility to apply for CFP funds
  • Understand and incorporate program concepts and terminology
  • Understand what is new in this year's RFA
  • Plan projects that promote food security in and help meet the food needs of low-income communities
  • Develop a competitive application for CFP funds.

Drawing on years of CFP experience, these guides should be your first step in determining if this program is right for your community.

2011 Guidance for Preparing Community Food Projects Proposals (6 pages, PDF format, updated September 2011)

This guide is designed as a companion document to the Request for Applications (RFA), to help potential applicants: Determine eligibility to apply for CFP funds; Understand and incorporate program concepts and terminology; Plan projects that promote food security in and help meet the food needs of low-income communities; and Develop a competitive application for CFP funds.

2009 Guidance for Preparing Community Food Projects Proposals (41 pages, PDF format, updated April 2009)

If you find that after reviewing the 2011 Guidance for Preparing Community Food Projects Proposals, you still have questions, this guide is longer and contains more details on certain topics, especially project rating criteria and writing outcome-focused proposals. Although it was compiled in 2009, the program has changed very little. This guide was also designed as a companion document to the RFA.

Guidance for Preparing Community Food Projects Proposals (15 pages, PDF format, updated September 2011)

This document was developed to help Community Food Projects (CFP) grant applicants understand the Planning Projects requirements and expectations, and develop appropriate submissions. 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 Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program. Planning Projects are to focus on a defined community and describe in detail the activities and outcomes of the planning project.

Electronic Submissions Advisory (7 pages, PDF format, updated October 2010)

In recent years, dozens of great Community Food Projects grant applications, many winnable, were not even reviewed. This occurred mainly because basic requirements and guidance from Grants.gov and the National Institute on Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) were not followed. Be aware -- this could happen to your application if you don't follow the procedures, particularly if you submit it too close to the deadline. We urge you to read this advisory to help ensure that your grant application will be reviewed. First-time Grants.gov users should see pages six and seven for additional guidance.

Step 2: One-on-One Assistance to CFP Grant Applicants

CFSC and its partners Growing Power and WhyHunger offer an application hotline that:

  • Helps you decide whether or not to apply for a grant
  • Clarifies CFP program guidelines
  • Addresses technical questions
  • Provides feedback on program plans
  • Reviews draft proposals
  • Refers you to others with expertise in specific areas

After you review the grant guides, above, your organization is eligible for one hour of free technical assistance. Contact WhyHunger's hotline 1-877-988-1010 or email t&[email protected].

If you need more then one hour of support, you may request additional assistance at a fee of $70 per hour. Availability is at the discretion of the providers. You will be requested to submit a short evaluation on your service in order for us to continue to provide this service for free. For more information, contact Zy Weinberg at [email protected] or (512) 755-1289

TIPS:

  • Start Early. The hotline is first come, first served. Do not wait until two weeks before the applications is due -- Hotline staff may not have time to address your application questions.
  • Be prepared. One hour is for free. Know your questions in advance of calling and try to gather as much information as you can about your potential project before your appointment.

Step 3: Apply for your CFP grant!

Please note that it is extremely important to allow adequate time for both project planning and proposal writing. Developing an effective, collaborative project with multiple stakeholders takes time, and should be started well before the proposal deadline.

Additional Information to Help Guide Your Application

WhyHunger's Food Security Learning Center is a clearinghouse of information related to food security, including tools and resources, Community Food Projects Database, and other funding opportunities.

Examples of Successful Community Food Projects

Read more about Community Food Projects grants