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Montgomery County Community Food Rescue
FY20 Mini-Grants Program
Application Guidelines

The Montgomery County Community Food Rescue Mini-Grants Program is back. These grants are intended to provide opportunities for improving capacity and infrastructure of the local food system in all aspects of food security including food recovery, and for inventive and collaborative approaches to reducing food insecurity. Montgomery County’s vision of food security is a community in which all people, at all times, have access to safe, sufficient, and nutritious food, with dignity.  
The Mini-Grants process will be managed by the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and the Montgomery County Food CouncilApplications are due by Tuesday September 3, 2019.
Did you know that in 2018, Montgomery County, Maryland had…
  • 146,000 tons of food go to waste
  • over 65,000 food insecure residents
  • more than 59,000 students in public schools who qualified for free or reduced meals
This Mini-Grants Program will strengthen current efforts of the Montgomery County Community Food Rescue (CFR), a food recovery network of Manna Food Center. CFR supports the good work of businesses, agencies, and organizations that donate, receive and distribute unsold food saving it from landfills. CFR provides capacity building through grants, training and other resources. CFR also works to bring new donors and recipients into the system and engage the entire community in efforts to “feed more, waste less.”  To achieve collective impact, CFR’s priority is to reduce food that is being wasted and redirect it to food assistance agencies that serve those experiencing hunger. Please become more familiar with the goals and approaches of CFR by visiting
Funding Criteria:
The range of each grant is from $2,000 - $10,000. The Mini-Grants Program is looking to fund projects that:  
  1. Increase the capacity and infrastructure to promote food security: It must be clear how the purchase or expense relates to improving food security.  Prior year grants enabled organizations to improve transportation, distribution, delivery or storage systems through purchases of goods and services such as trucks, freezers, and to build capacity conducting staff development, hiring additional staff, engaging professional consultants, or partnering and sharing resources with other organizations.
  2. Are inventive and collaborative approaches to increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of efforts to reduce food insecurity in the County: It must be clear how the grant support will enhance or enable effective partnerships and collaborations.
Eligibility Requirements:
Any tax-exempt institution or association that provides services or activities within Montgomery County is eligible to apply. Grants will be awarded for projects in Montgomery County, Maryland only. Organizations’ headquarters can be outside of Montgomery County if the organization demonstrates that the activities and services supported by grant funds benefit Montgomery County residents.  Organizations applying in partnership should select only one organization to apply as the lead entity responsible for the terms of the grant.
The program will not fund:
  • Projects that have an existing deficit from a previous year or a previous project
  • Organizations that received previous awards and did not comply with the terms of the award
  • Replacement of lost and/or reduced Federal, State, United Way or other funding
  • Organizations that have an outstanding contractual obligation with the County
Scoring will be based on the following:
Preference (up to 20 points) will be given to:
  • Organizations requesting $5,000 or less
  • Organizations that leverage other funding or resources to complete the project
Project Alignment with the following criteria (up to 80 points):
  • Improves capacity and infrastructure of the local food system in aspects related to food security
  • Presents a creative approach to increasing effectiveness of efforts to reduce food insecurity
  • Enhances or enables effective partnerships and collaborations
  • Starts, advances, or improves food security for the community, not just a single organization
  • Establishes clear goals and capacity to complete desired outcomes within specified time frame
  • Shows a link between project goals and recommendations of the MOCO Food Security Plan
  • Utilizes the Montgomery County FoodStat as a supporting tool to identify problem being addressed
  • Demonstrates a ratio of investment to sustainability and  impact
Reporting Requirements:
  • At the end of the grant period, and no later than July 10, 2020, grantees are required to submit a report that will include:
    • Details on the successes and lessons learned resulting from the mini grant
    • All receipts and invoices for purchases made with the mini grant moneys
    • Digital images and stories that will enable shared knowledge among the CFR community and promote your good work
    • Grantees giving direct services to County residents will be required to report data on households served in order to contribute to FoodStat and the identification of service gaps.
Terms and Conditions:
  • These are one-time awards and must demonstrate desired impact to food security within the grant period which ends June 30, 2020.
  • Awardees, as applicable, will be listed in the Food Assistance Resource Directory for residents to easily locate those services.
  • Awardees will be invited to participate in the Food Recovery and Access Working Group (FRAWG) organized by the Montgomery County Food Council to share their indicators of success as a result of the grant. For details contact
  • Organizations engaged in food recovery are encouraged to join Community Food Rescue’s network and use the free matching tool, ChowMatch. For details contact
  • Awardees will distribute CFR informational and educational materials to their networks as part of their outreach activities and any equipment purchased with this grant will display a CFR magnet. 
Grant Process and Funding Period:
Applications will be subject to an initial review, including completeness and clarity; compliance with guidelines, including the one-time only nature of the project; and budget accuracy. Second, a panel of both public and private entities will review applications and evaluate their effect in creating, advancing and/or enhancing food security within Montgomery County according with scoring guidelines.
  • Application portal opens August 1, 2019
  • Pre-application technical assistance conference on August 14, 2019 at 10:30 AM, 401 Hungerford Dr. Rockville, MD
  • Applications are due by September 3, 2019
  • Grant applicants will be notified by October 7, 2019 
  • Grant awards will be dispersed by October 17, 2019 
  • All grant funds must be used no later than June 30, 2020
  • Project Report due by July 10, 2020
 Click HERE to view or complete the application
Questions?   Please contact Diana Tato-Niktash, Program Manager for the Food Security Plan at the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services
at 240-777-3404 or email