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New Round of Grants Available for Hunger Relief Groups

Washington Department of Agriculture

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has a new round of grants available for hunger relief organizations working to address critical needs across Washington.

The application period for the second round of Food Assistance Resiliency Grants will open on Monday, April 18 with completed applications due Friday, June 10.  The period of performance (contract period) is from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023. Up to $16 million will be available for distribution to eligible hunger relief organizations, including those that do not currently have contracts with WSDA food assistance programs.

The grants are managed by the WSDA Food Assistance Program, which designed the grant program with input from a diverse advisory committee with representation from across the state. Grant funding will prioritize:

  • Recommendations of the Washington State Hunger Relief Capacity Report, conducted in partnership with the University of Washington and Harvest Against Hunger.
  • Organizations with leadership that includes Black, Indigenous and other people of color, and organizations with strong partnerships in these communities.
  • Rural, less dense regions and underserved communities.
  • Statewide representation.

The grants are meant to support the work of eligible hunger relief organizations such as meal programs, food banks, food pantries, delivery programs, and more, in response to COVID-19. Funding objectives include:

  • Collaborations – To implement or strengthen regional systems, such as new county partnerships, inter-regional collaboration, and food hubs.
  • Local purchasing – To strengthen local systems, invest in local businesses and local agriculture.
  • Service operation efficiencies and expanded capacity – To support staffing, equipment, capital improvement projects, and other vital resources needed to continue and expand services as needed.
  • Client experience enhancement – To support equity, client choice models, home and expanded delivery options, increased client access, culturally relevant foods, as well as software, translation, and other concepts or innovations that improve the client experience.

Grant categories include:

  • Equipment and installation costs up to $4,999.99 – through our partnership with Harvest Against Hunger, up to $400,000 worth of eligible equipment and installation projects will be funded.
  • Contracted hunger relief organizations – at least 30 percent of awards will be to organizations who currently participate in WSDA Food Assistance programs.
  • Regional Distribution Organizations – at least 20 percent of awards will be to organizations qualifying as RDOs with projects related to those functions.
  • Hunger relief organizations not currently contracted with WSDA Food Assistance – at least 30 percent of awards will be to organizations who do not currently participate in WSDA Food Assistance programs.

The percentages are subject to change to meet funding priorities and based on final applications. Awards may range from less than $5,000 to more than $100,000. For projects $5,000 and more, there is no maximum project size limit. Some applicants may be offered a partial award.

Applications will be translated into the following languages: Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Ukrainian, Somali, Korean, Chinese Mandarin, and Tagalog. Please contact FoodAssistanceGrants@agr.wa.gov if other languages and other documents require translation. Visit agr.wa.gov/Grants for more information.

The Resiliency Grants Program is funded through the state legislature and the federal Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery fund, as part of the American Rescue Plan Act adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant program also contributes to WSDA’s ongoing Focus on Food Initiative, which focuses on strengthening Washington’s food system at the regional level and ensuring safe, nutritious food is effectively produced and distributed throughout our state.