Food Hub Mini-Grants: Funding For Local Food Aggregation Projects in WV

March 9, 2015   Tags:

The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition is offering three mini-grants of $3,000-$3500 each to support aggregation projects across the state. Grantees can use funding for a variety of projects, but funding must enhance the efforts and sustainability of aggregating local food. Specifically, funding can be used for startup aggregation/food hub projects or existing aggregators/food hubs for business coaching, addition of staff, equipment, marketing, or other tactics to become more sustainable and implement business and/or logistics plans. By the end of the grant period, grantees will receive business and production planning and will have authored a business plan.

Grant funds will be distributed by May 2015 and the grant period will run until December 31, 2015.

Find the complete RFP below.

Download this application in .docx format.

Link to the Food Hub Intake Form (Must be completed as a part of your application)

Introduction

The mission of the West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition is to build, support and strengthen a statewide network of those involved in West Virginia’s local food economies, with the interconnected goals of improving access to healthy, locally-produced food for all West Virginians and helping viable food and farm businesses to grow. 

Our conviction is that when West Virginia farmers and food producers become more directly connected to West Virginia consumers, the results include healthier people, greater business opportunities, stronger communities, and a unique economy reflecting our state’s proud heritage of self-sufficient food production. We are especially dedicated to the success of small-but-growing West Virginia food businesses and beginning farmers focused on selling to local consumers. To advance these ends, the Coalition works to grow food and farm businesses, promote access to local foods, share resources, and change agricultural policy.

Context

West Virginia’s Road Map for the Food Economy is a statewide “food charter” designed to help us all focus, measure, and celebrate our collective progress towards stronger local food systems. The Road Map offers a vision for West Virginia’s local food economy and provides ways of measuring how statewide and local policies, programs, and community efforts are contributing to the strength of that food economy.

The Road Map outlines 4 critical goals:

Goal 1: Youth and new farmers participate in the agricultural economy.

Goal 2: Institutions and schools buy local healthy foods.

Goal 3: The public consumes healthy local food at a household level.

Goal 4: Local farmers and local food businesses increase their income and are profitable.

The purpose of this RFP is to support projects and businesses that address goals 2, 3, and 4 by increasing the aggregation and distribution of locally grown, healthy food.

Eligibility

Funding is available for any local food aggregator in West Virginia. This includes nonprofits, for profits, cooperatives, and start up aggregation projects. Projects are encouraged to read the report from the Food Hub Track at the 2015 Small Farm Conference to learn more about the potential for Food Hubs in West Virginia.

Funding

Up to $3,500 is available and can be used for a variety of projects, but must enhance the efforts and sustainability of aggregating local food. Specifically, funding can be used for startup aggregation/food hub projects or existing aggregators/food hubs for business coaching, addition of staff, equipment, marketing, or other tactics to become more sustainable and implement business and/or logistics plan

Grantee Requirements

If awarded funding, grantees must:

What WV Food and Farm Coalition’s Aggregation & Distribution Working Group and partner service providers will provide to grantees:

Timeline

Application

Applications should have the following format. Please email completed grant applications to msmith@wvfoodandfarm.org with the heading “Hub Mini-Grant Application.”

Intake Form

Cover Page (Maximum 1 page)

  1. Name of Project
  2. Submitter’s name & contact information
  3. Organization or company represented & contact information
  4. Funding amount requested

Project Overview (Maximum of 2 pages, double spaced)

  1. Current aggregation efforts and methods (if any)
  2. Proposed increase or change to current aggregation efforts or methods
  3. Who will be involved in the project and how?
  4. What is the impact of the project?
  5. Describe how the project/business will be sustained beyond the initial grant period. For example, what are your plans for growth, or how have you grown over the past several years? How will you ensure business viability?

Milestones and Outcomes (Maximum of 1 page, double spaced)

  1. List 2-3 specific accomplishments or milestones to be completed as part of the funded project or business aspect. Be as specific, quantitative, and timely as possible, for example:
    1. Hire a summer employee to enhance our aggregated sales by 30% between June and September 2015.
  2. Name 2-3 outcomes (end results) of the project. Be as specific, quantitative, and timely as possible, for example:
    1. With added staff capacity, the food hub will encourage three farmers to scale up production in 2016 to meet local food demands via the food hub.

Budget and Justification (Maximum of 1 page)

  1. Total budget
  2. Items requested/cost
  3. In-kind contributions and estimated value

Letters of Support (Maximum of 3 pages)

  1. Letter(s) of support from community groups/organizations or other businesses describing support for and/or role in project.
  2. Letter(s) of support from growers describing the type/amount of product to be available for project.

Proposed Timeline (Maximum of 1 pages)

  1. Outline of monthly activities (6 months)

The entire application should be double-spaced. All documents should use 12-point font (Arial or Times New Roman). All pages should have 1-inch margins. No handwritten proposals accepted.