Apply for a Mini-Grant

The deadline for applying for a grant has passed. Watch this site for an announcement of the awardees.

Community Food Rescue is excited to announce that the Mini-Grants Program is back, with support from Montgomery County Health and Human Services and Burness! Grants are again available for increasing the capacity and infrastructure of the food recovery system locally in Montgomery County, Maryland. In addition, this year there are new opportunities to receive grants for bold, inventive and collaborative approaches to improving food recovery work! The mini-grants process is managed by our partner, Intentional Philanthropy, with the generous support of the Mead Family Foundation. Applications can be requested from lauren@intentionalphilanthropy.com and are due by Monday, May 11, 2015.

Every year in Montgomery County, Maryland…

  • 246,000 tons (23%) of the County’s solid waste is food waste. (Mo. Co. Waste Composition Study, July 26, 2013)
  • 79,000-81,000 (8%) of County residents do not know where their next meal will come from. (Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap study)
  • 35% of children in Montgomery County public schools qualify for free or reduced meals. (MCPS)

This Mini-Grants Program will amplify efforts underway by Community Food Rescue (CFR), a new initiative to develop a coordinated food recovery system throughout Montgomery County, Maryland. This system enhances the good work of businesses, agencies, and organizations that already recover perfectly good food before it is thrown away. Using a systems approach, a current CFR goal is to reduce food that is still being wasted and redirect it to hunger relief agencies that serve those in need. We are also working to increase the amount of inedible food recovered for feeding animals and composting.

Funding Criteria:

There are two distinct funding categories. While you may only submit one grant application per organization (including different branches, divisions, locations and/or units of same organization) your project may appeal to either or both of these categories:

1. Increasing the capacity and infrastructure for food recovery. (Grant Range: $500-$10,000)

  • It must be clear how the purchase or expense relates to food recovery. While you should not be limited by examples from last year, previous grants enabled organizations to improve transportation or storage systems through purchases of goods and services such as trucks, freezers, and staff training.

2. Inventive, collaborative approaches to increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of food recovery and reducing food insecurity in the County. (Grant Range: $500-$20,000)

  • Grants will be awarded in this category to organizations proposing new, creative and unusual partnerships or those trying a distinct approach.

Organizations collaborating in a unique way may submit applications in tandem, requesting no more than the grant maximum for each organization’s portion of the project. Please note these are one-time awards and must show desired effect to the food recovery network within the grant period.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Grants will be provided to organizations involved in food recovery within Montgomery County. It must be very clear how the proposal will start, advance, or enhance food recovery for the community.
  • Any 501(C)3 organization, institution or association that provides services or activities within Montgomery County is eligible to apply. Grants will be awarded for projects in Montgomery County only. Organization headquarters can be outside of Montgomery County as long as the organization demonstrates that the activities and services supported by grant funds benefit Montgomery County residents.
  • Funds may be delayed if there are additional requirements post-application such as a HACPP plan for food safety or proof of Food Service Manager Certification.
  • 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, including submission of project reports and/or participation in a monitoring visit.
    • Replacement of lost and/or reduced Federal, State, United Way or other funding.
    • Organizations that have an outstanding contractual obligation with the Department and/or the County.

Grant Decision and Funding Period:

All applications (due by Monday, May 11, 2015) will be subject to an initial review, including completeness and clarity; compliance with applicable guidelines, including the one-time only nature of the project; and fiscal accuracy. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

A panel consisting of both public and private entities will then review applications for their effect in creating, advancing and/or enhancing food recovery or a food recovery system within Montgomery County. Applications will be evaluated based on their level of impact, ability to complete the desired outcomes and the ratio of investment to impact. Applicants that demonstrate coordination, collaboration and/or leveraging of other resources will be more competitive. Grant recipients will be notified by June 19, 2015 and grant awards will be dispersed by June 30, 2015. All grant funds must be utilized no later than June 30, 2016.

The Review Committee:

  1. Clark Beil, Sr. Administrator, Licensure and Regulatory Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Montgomery County
  2. Andy Burness/Wendy Mackie, Burness
  3. Susan Callahan, Faculty, Hotel and Restaurant Management at UMES
  4. Valerie Ervin, Executive Director of the Participatory Democracy Project, a project of Working Families, and former County Council member
  5. Anna Hargrave, Senior Program Officer, The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
  6. Shondra Jenkins, Executive Director of the Sodexo Foundation; and Director, Community Relations at Sodexo
  7. Chef Tony Marciante, owner/chef of Chef Tony’s Restaurant
  8. Sarah Miller, Capital Projects Manager, Department of Economic Development, Montgomery County
  9. Lindsey Smith, Planning and Food Systems Consultant

Grant Conditions

  • Grant awardees will be expected to join and participate in the Community Food Rescue Working Group organized by the Montgomery County Food Council. Participation includes sharing indicators of success and utilizing the technology adapted by the CFR system (ex. Web-based platforms for tracking the rescue and use of food items).
  • Grant awardees will be required to submit a brief summary in the fall of 2015 highlighting successes and lessons learned to enable shared learning among the working group and promote accountability.
  • Submission of grant success stories, photos and content for newsletter articles will be required to help strengthen the collective effort of the working group as a whole.
  • Awardees will be required to use CFR materials in their marketing and outreach, including but not limited to the CFR logo and tag-line.
  • Any equipment purchased using the grants will display a sticker or magnet or other device with wording such as “This freezer was purchased with the support of Montgomery County’s Community Food Rescue.”

Questions? Ready to apply? Please contact Intentional Philanthropy at (301) 761-4433, or email Lauren Hasey Maher at lauren@intentionalphilanthropy.com

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