Department of Agriculture grants available to help address urban hunger

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State Sen. Justin Brown, R–Rolla, encourages nonprofit organizations seeking to address food shortages in larger towns and cities to apply for the United States Department of Agriculture urban agriculture grants prior to the July 30 deadline.

Organizations involved in agriculture projects in communities with populations of 2,500 or more may qualify for grants up to $500,000.

The USDA Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production (UAIP) grants program makes up to $4 million available to support community gardens, rooftop farms, greenhouses, hydroponic facilities and many other projects that increase access to food in urban areas.

Grants are available to nonprofit organizations that partner with other entities to increase the food supply in underserved areas. For-profit business and individual farmers and gardeners are not eligible, though they may qualify as partners.

“Many organizations have a desire to improve access to healthy food in urban communities, but often they lack the resources to meet the need,” Brown said. “A grant from USDA could potentially mean the difference between residents of these communities having access to healthy food or going hungry.”

Grants from $200,000 to $500,000 are available for planning projects, which initiate or build upon efforts to expand food availability. Implementation grants range from $100,000 to $300,000 and are aimed at accelerating existing projects.

Money from UAIP grants can be used to fund production costs, facilities construction, labor and rental of specialized equipment, among other qualified expenses. No cost sharing or matching funds is required.

For more information about Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production grants, visit www.farmers.gov/urban or contact a local USDA Service Center.

For more information about Sen. Brown, visit www.senate.mo.gov/brown.