Funding for Community Organizations
Kids in the kitchenUSDA and TDA offer a many grants that can assist community members looking to strengthen their impact on food distribution and access in Texas. Farm Fresh activities are taking root all across the state and schools, child care centers, and summer sites are in need of community advocates and partners. Community members can help in many ways including, but not limited to talking with administration about bringing farm fresh activities to your school or child care center, volunteering in a school garden, or offering your expertise on topics related to farm fresh.

USDA Farm to School Grants  Minimize 
USDA annually awards funding to support training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships and implementing farm to school programs to schools, child care centers and summer sites. 

Examples of previously funded activities include:
  • Support service grants: for state and local agencies, agricultural producers or other groups to bolster Farm Fresh projects.
  • Implementation grants: specifically for sites that want to scale or further develop existing programs. 
  • Planning grants: for those centers that are just getting started. And training grants are for groups that want to create trainings that strengthen all aspects of Farm Fresh. 

To learn more about this grant, please watch this archived webinar: Review of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. You may also read about grant recipients from 2016 here.

For full details on this grant, including a list of eligible entities, grant application documents and related deadlines, visit USDA’s Farm to School Grant Web page

Sustainable Agriculture Grant  Minimize 
Since its introduction in 1988, this program has funded a wide variety of sustainable agricultural projects for researchers, agricultural educators, students, farmers and ranchers in the United States. The grant is divided up regionally across the United States with Texas in the southern region. 

A North Carolina group used grant funds to create a planning resource for Extension agents, ag professionals and communities for farm to school. This tool helped to conduct a needs assessment for the community so that Extension agents could truly meet the community’s particular goals. The needs assessment found that the community desired support for educating farmers about market opportunities as well as support with the implementation of educational components of farm to school in the classroom.

For full details on this grant, including a list of eligible entities, grant application documents and related deadlines, visit the Sustainable Agriculture Grant Web page

Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program  Minimize 
That National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) solicits applications annually for this competitive grant. The primary goal of the Community Food Projects (CFP) program is to improve access to fresh food for the low-income population through increased participation in Federally assisted nutrition programs or other comprehensive distribution programs. CFPs are designed to increase food security and self-sufficiency in low-income communities by bringing the whole community together. Preferred projects form linkages between two or more sectors of the food system and build long-term capacity of communities. 

Projects are funded from $10,000-$40,000 for one to four years. They are one time grants that require dollar-for-dollar matching of resources. Additional information and topic areas can be found on the NIFA website.

For full details on this grant, including a list of eligible entities, grant application documents and related deadlines, visit the Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program Web page

Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Grants  Minimize 
The Local Food Promotion Program offers grant funds with a 25% match for projects that support the creation and implementation of local and regional food business enterprises that promote the increased consumption and access to locally produced agriculture products. Planning and implementation grants are both available.

Planning grants are awarded for a minimum of $5,000 and a maximum of $25,000. Eligible activities include market research, feasibility studies and business planning.  Implementation grants are awarded for a minimum of $25,000 and a maximum of $100,000. Eligible activities include, but are not limited to marketing and promotion to buyers and consumers, training, and non-construction infrastructure improvements. 

Groups and individuals that receive the planning grant are encouraged to apply for the implementation grants in the preceding fiscal year upon completion of all required documentation for the planning grant project. 

For full details on this grant, including a list of eligible entities, grant application documents and related deadlines, visit the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Grant Web page

For additional funding opportunities, visit TDA’s Grants and Services Web page and the Overview of USDA grants by agency.

Assistance available in English and Spanish. Please call 877-TEX-MEAL (877-839-6325) for help.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
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Texas Department of Agriculture
Commissioner Sid Miller

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