Grant Services - Advice and Tips

Grants for Food Pantries

Thu, Apr 12, 2018 @ 08:04 AM / by Michelle Hansen

Food pantries might be the organizations that require the most diverse resources to function properly. We get requests from agencies to find grants for everything from actual food to gardens for growin8498826234_1c2e554f06_qg food to new buildings to kitchen equipment. An additional layer that increases the variety of grant funding needed is that some food banks provide non-perishable food, some provide hot meals, and some provide both. Thus, while the specific needs of food pantries vary widely, their general need is consistently great. According to the USDA, 1 in 6 people in America face hunger. Below we have gathered some grants to help fill some of these great needs.

Community Facilities Grant Program

If your food bank requires larger purchases, like a new building or kitchen equipment, the USDA’s Community Facilities Grant Program is a great place to start. This program provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. Essential community facilities include food pantries, community kitchens, food banks, and food hubs. Eligible entities include public bodies, community-based non-profit entities, and federally-recognized tribes. Since this program is focused on rural areas, eligible organizations serve a community with a population of no more than 20,000 people. Funds can be used to purchase, construct, and / or improve essential community facilities, purchase equipment, or pay related project expenses. Applications are accepted year round. To begin the process, contact your local USDA office.

Project Orange Thumb

Some food pantries have the manpower and landscape to grow their own fruits and vegetables, so they need not rely solely on donations. Such food pantries often search for garden grants. One example of a grant for gardens is Project Orange Thumb. Though grants have already been awarded for 2018, this program is still worth mentioning. The application is open to non-profit organizations in North America late in the year, and grant recipients are announced in spring of the following year. These grants come in the form of both money and gardening tools. Mark your calendar for the end of summer to start looking for deadlines for 2019 grants.

Ameriprise Financial

In 2016, Ameriprise awarded 181 national grants as well as local grants to organizations in 31 different states. One of the categories Ameriprise Financial funds is meeting basic needs, including helping people find their next meal. Eligible entities include food banks, food pantries, meal services for the homebound, school backpack hunger programs, and hunger relief programs for specific populations, like children or particularly ethnic groups. This grant program does not support nutrition education, cooking instruction, or gardening programs. Non-profits may submit applications anytime, with application reviews twice each year following the application deadlines. Deadlines this year are Jan. 15 and May 15. Award announcements usually occur four months after the deadline.

Cisco Foundation

This foundation provides grants to organizations that help support critical human needs. To do so, they partner with local, national, and global partners. Non-profit entities are eligible for support, though any governmental agencies are ineligible. Underserved communities are favored for support. Since Cisco is a technology company, the foundation focuses its grant money on technology that will help meet its priorities, so make sure your project includes a technological component. Grant inquiries and applications are by invitation only, and the foundation does not accept unsolicited requests. See how to get noticed by these types of foundations in our previous blog.

Still not seeing a grant you are interested in? We can help find grants specific for your organization with our specialized Grant Opportunity Search. Find out more on our Services page. Or start a free consultation with one of our grant experts by contacting us today.


Photo Credit: Salvation Army USA West

Topics: food grants, food program grants, food program for kids, food insecurity, food pantry, food banks, food bank grants, grants for food pantry, food pantry grants, grants for food banks

Michelle Hansen

Written by Michelle Hansen

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