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Montgomery County Community Food Rescue

FY23 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 recovery, and for innovative 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.  

We are grateful to the Greater Washington Community Foundation's Food for Montgomery Fund for its generous support for these grants in FY23.  The Mini-Grants process will be managed by the  Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services in collaboration with Manna Food Center and the  Montgomery County Food CouncilApplications are due by 7:00PM on Friday September 9, 2022.

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 recover food before it is wasted and redistribute it to food assistance agencies that serve those experiencing hunger. Please become more familiar with the goals and approaches of CFR by visiting  www.communityfoodrescue.org.

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 recovery: Prior year grants enabled organizations to improve transportation, distribution, delivery or storage systems through purchases of trucks, freezers, and equipment, and to build capacity by hiring additional staff.
  2. Are inventive and collaborative approaches to increasing the capacity, efficiency and effectiveness of food recovery and food security systems in Montgomery County. 

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
  • Projects or costs that are covered by current contracts with the County or other funding
  • Organizations 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
  • The purchase of food
Scoring will be based on the project alignment with the following criteria:
  • Identifies an important need and the steps for addressing it
  • Improves capacity and infrastructure of food recovery or presents a creative and collaborative approach to reduce food insecurity
  • Establishes clear goals and ability to complete desired outcomes within grant period
  • Establishes a criteria for measuring success
  • Leverages other funding or resources to complete the project
  • Enhances or enables effective partnerships and collaborations
  • Demonstrates a ratio of investment to sustainability and impact
  • Works towards racial equity and inclusion and considers geographic areas of high need 
Reporting Requirements:
  • At the end of the grant period, and no later than July 15, 2023, grantees are required to submit a narrative report that including:
    • Lessons learned resulting from the mini grant project
    • All receipts and invoices for purchases made with the mini grant moneys
    • Digital images and stories to share
Terms and Conditions:
  • These are one-time awards and must demonstrate desired impact within the grant period which ends June 30, 2023.
  • 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 meetings organized by the  Montgomery County Food Council to share their indicators of success as a result of the grant. 
  • Organizations engaged in food recovery are encouraged to join Community Food Rescue’s network and use the free matching tool, ChowMatch
  • Any equipment purchased with these grants 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, evaluate and rank applications according to scoring criteria.

Timeline:
  • Application portal opens August 15, 2022
  • Pre-application technical assistance conference on August 22, 2022  - WATCH RECORDING
  • Applications are due by September 9, 2022. Portal closes at 7:00PM
  • Grant applicants will be notified on status of their application by October 7, 2022 
  • Grant awards will be dispersed by Manna Food Center the week of October 17, 2022 
  • All grant funds must be used no later than June 30, 2023
  • Project Report due by July 15, 2023

Apply or view the  Mini-grants Program 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 
diana.tato-niktash@montgomerycountymd.gov