Montgomery County is Now Accepting Applications for its Farm to Food Bank Capacity Building Grant program.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 16, 2020

Contact: Catherine Nardi, Programs Manager, Montgomery County Food Council

301-664-4010, cnardi@mocofoodcouncil.org

Montgomery County is Now Accepting Applications for its Farm to Food Bank Capacity Building Grant program.

$200,000 in grants will be awarded to assist Montgomery County-based food producing farms with the purchase of equipment, and/or to build food production capacity and infrastructure in order to contribute to the Montgomery County Farm to Food Bank program in 2021. Montgomery County farms can apply for up to $20,000.

Applications for the grants are due by noon on Wednesday, September 30, 2020, and funds will be distributed beginning Tuesday, October 13th 2020. Grant awards are funded by Federal CARES Act funding that was appropriated by the County Executive and Montgomery County Council to address local food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, Manna Food Center, and Food for Montgomery, a fund of the Greater Washington Community Foundation. 

A panel of local food security and agriculture experts will review the applications and determine grant awards. Grant applications will be reviewed on criteria that includes requests in the priority area such as food production equipment and infrastructure, and the ability of the farm to increase the quantities of culturally appropriate food being provided to local food assistance organizations, to enhance gender/racial/ethnic diversity within the agricultural producer community, and to engage in sustainable farming practices. Manna Food Center is the administrator for the program and will make the funding awards.

To submit an application and learn more, visit the Food Council’s website at www.mocofoodcouncil.org/f2fbapp/.  If any farm cannot complete the application online or requires the application be provided in a language other than English, please email Catherine Nardi at cnardi@mocofoodcouncil.org.  An information session will be held via Zoom on Monday, September 21st from 9-10am for interested applicants.

The  Montgomery County Food Security Task Force was established by the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security in early April 2020 as a response to the increased demand on food assistance providers during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the mission to increase the volume of food in the food assistance system, improve access to food by building the capacity of the food assistance network and food production sector, and to communicate information to residents on available resources and ensure residents are connected with available resources.

One of more than a dozen strategies implemented through the Task Force was the Montgomery County Farm to Food Bank program, which seeks to:

  • Provide fresh, sufficient, nutritious, and diverse produce to food assistance recipients in Montgomery County.
  • Support Montgomery County farmers, create new market opportunities for farm products, and develop new purchasing partnerships with local farms/farmers to ensure a sustained and resilient food supply for 2020-2021 and beyond.
  • Reduce food waste by procuring products based on shelf-life, broadening distribution of local farm products to additional County providers, and establishing a secondary sales market for these local products.

The Montgomery County Farm to Food Bank Program is a partnership between the Montgomery County Food Security Task Force, the Montgomery County Food Council, the Montgomery County Office of Agriculture, Manna Food Center, and the Greater Washington Community Foundation.

For the latest COVID-19 updates, visit the County’s COVID-19 website and follow Montgomery County on Facebook @MontgomeryCountyInfo and Twitter @MontgomeryCoMD.

Farm to Food Bank Applications