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Multiple grant opportunities are available

The following funding opportunities have been forwarded to us from Congresswoman Robin Kelly’s office. Please share with your communities and schools.

Grant Information

School and Youth

1.       Fuel Up to Play 60 Purpose: Every year, the National Dairy Council, National Football League, and the USDA provide grants up to $4,000 to K-12 schools with programs that encourage youth to eat healthy (low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) and exercise for at least 60 minutes daily. One of this year’s Healthy Eating Plays focuses on Farm to School. Eligibility: K-12 schools that follow one Healthy Eating Play and Physical Activity Play.Funding: Up to $4,000 per year per school. Deadline: November 4, 2015.

2.       Bonnie Plants’ Third Grade Cabbage Program Purpose: Each year, more than one million free cabbage plants are distributed to third grade classrooms across the country. As part of the program, Bonnie Plants awards a $1,000 scholarship to one student in each state for sending in a photo of a unique-looking cabbage (deadline: September 30, 2015). Eligibility: Schools, K-12. Deadline: February 15, 2016.

3.       Indiana School Garden of the Year Purpose: Awards best photo-documented 2015-2016 K-12 school gardens. Categories include Best School, Best Nutritional Recipe, Best Educational Use of a Garden, and Best Rookie Garden.Eligibility: K-12 Indiana schools. Funding: $1500 prize. Deadline: March 1, 2016.

4.       Micro-Grants/Karma for Cara Foundation Purpose: To fund service projects in communities, with ideas including rebuilding a playground or turning a vacant lot into a community garden. Eligibility:  For children 18 and under. Funding:between $250 and $1,000. Deadline:  Rolling. Contact:

Rural Development

5.       New! Solid Waste Management Grant Program Purpose: Funds organizations that work to reduce or eliminate water and solid waste pollution in rural areas. Elibility: Private, 501(c)3 organizations, government agencies, federally-recognized Native American tribes, academic institutions. Funding: $4 million total. Deadline: December 31, 2015.

6.       USDA Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) Purpose:  Provides loans and grants to Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDO’s) to provide microloans, training, and technical assistance to microloan borrowers and micro entrepreneurs. Eligibility: rural nonprofits, federally-recognized Tribes, institutions of higher learning, or businesses (ultimate recipients) with 10 or fewer full time employees in rural areas with populations less than 50,000 (Please see requirements). Funding: Grants to qualifying recipients up to $205,000 annually (with 15% matching); loans up to $50,000-$500,000 for MDOs; loans up to $50,000 to ultimate recipients. Deadline: Rolling (applications will be considered for next Federal fiscal quarter). Must apply no later than 4:30 p.m. (local time) on last day of fiscal quarter for consideration for next quarter. Click here for more information.

Food Systems and Food Security

7.       New! USDA-NIFA Community Food Projects (CFP) Competitive Grant Program Purpose: Funds efforts to improve access, self-reliance, and education of healthy food for low-income communities. Eligibility : Public food program service providers, tribal organizations, or private nonprofit entities including gleaners. Funding: $8.6M total. Deadline: November 30, 2015.

8.       USDA and Microsoft debut “Innovation Challenge Purpose: Software developers create apps that help United States’ food systems achieve sustainability in the midst of a changing climate. USDA has placed 100 years of climate-related data on Microsoft Azure cloud to allow access on remote laptops, tablets, or mobile phones. Eligibility: Please see link. Funding: $60,000 in prizes. Deadline: November 20, 2015.

9.       Developing Healthy Places. Purpose: The Kresge Foundation seeks to fund nonprofit or government initiatives that build healthier and more equitable food systems, transportation infrastructure, and land use. Eligibility: Nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations, government entities. Funding: Varies, based on proposal. Deadline: Rolling.

10.   Jewel-Osco Community Grants. Purpose: Fund organizations promoting nutrition education, healthy eating, and local/sustainable conscientiousness. Eligibility: 501(c)(3) organizations. Deadline: Rolling.

2.     Surdna Foundation/Sustainable Environment Grants Purpose: Fund projects that: develop regional food infrastructure, reduce barriers to access, strategize financing, or link organizations to more effectively advance regional food efforts. Preference is given to projects that address low-income communities of color and combine food supply efforts with infrastructure construction. Eligibility:  Non-profit organizations. Funding: Need-based. Deadline: Rolling.


3.    Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health Prize 2016 is now accepting applications. Up to 10 winning communities will each receive a $25,000 cash prize and have their success stories celebrated and shared broadly to inspire locally-driven change across the nation. Deadline: Applications will be accepted August 10, 2015 through November 12, 2015 at 3pm ET. Communities should understand this is a prize not a grant.

4.    New! Improving Healthcare Systems Research Grants. Purpose: Funds efforts to allow patients to make informed decisions and give clinicians information and support to improve care. Eligibility: Any nonprofit or for-profit organization, public sector research organization, laboratory, or government agency. Funding: 3-year projects, $1.5M; 5-year projects, $5M. Deadline: Letter of intent due November 12, 2015. Full application due November 12, 2015.

5.    USDA Seeks Applications for $16.8M in Grants to Empower SNAP Participants to Make Healthy Eating Choices (aka Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant (FINI)) Purpose: Funds local, state and national organization efforts that enable SNAP participants to better afford healthy foods. Eligibility: Please see link. Funding: $16.8M in grants. Deadline: Webinar for applicants, October 14, 2:00pm. Applications due December 16, 2015. The November GoodGreens meeting will focus on FINI, including speakers representing Midwest FINI grantees from 2015.

6.    New! AmeriCorps State and National Competitive Grants FY2016 Purpose: Funds organization projects that engage AmeriCorps members in evidence-based interventions to strengthen communities in any of the areas: disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environment, veterans and military families, and Promise Zones. Eligibility: Public or private nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Indian Tribes. Funding: Variable- see link.Deadline:  Notification of intent to apply due 5PM EST December 9. Application due 5PM EST, January 20, 2016. See link for schedule of best practices webinars.

7.    Every Kid Healthy Grant Purpose: Action for Healthy Kids provides funding and resources to schools that carry out nutrition and physical activity-related programs. Schools should work towards USDA’s Healthier US Schools Challenge certification. Eligibility: All K-12 schools, especially those with >50% eligible for free/reduced price meals. Deadline: Rolling.

8.    The American Heart Association and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Voices for Healthy Kids Purpose: Fund state, local, and tribal policy efforts to reverse childhood obesity trends in six priority areasEligibility: Non-profit organizations. Funding: Up to $100,000. Deadline: Rolling. Contact: Jill Ceitlin at

Farmer, Rancher & Food

9.    Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education- Farmer Rancher Grant Program. Purpose: The North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NC-SARE) seeks farmers and ranchers with projects offering sustainable solutions to farm management. Funding: up to $7,500 for individual grant projects and up to $22,500 for group grant projects. Deadline: Early August-Mid November. Find out more information about the Farmer Rancher Grant Program and the application process

10. USDA New Farmer Outreach and Education Grant Purpose: Fund projects that educate new and underserved farmers about the 20 Farm Service Agency programs that provide financial, value-added production, property inheritance, production, disaster, or technical support. Eligibility: 501(c)3 nonprofits, institutions of higher education. Funding: Between $20,000 and $100,000 per applicant. Deadline: Application deadlines for each evaluation period are 11/20/15; 01/22/16; 3/18/16; and5/27/16.

11.  Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Grants Purpose: Fund research and education projects for farmers, ranchers, extension agents, nonprofits, students, and communities. Eligibility: Researchers, academics, nonprofits, producers. Funding: Varies by U.S. region. Deadline: Varies by region.

12. Specialty Crop Block grants totaling $63.2 million are allocated to U.S. States and territories based on a formula that considers both specialty crop acreage and production value. Purpose: The purpose of the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) is to solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Specialty crops are defined as “fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).” Interested applicants should apply directly through their state department of agriculture. Eligibility: Organizations or individuals should contact their state department of agriculture for more information. Deadline: A listing of state contacts and application due dates can be found at

14. USDA Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative Purpose: Assist producers to extend the growing season for high value crops in an environmentally safe manner. Eligibility:  Individuals, legal entities, Indian Tribes, and joint operations engaged in agricultural production. Deadline: Varies by state.

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