The Delaware Department of Agriculture has announced that, starting Friday, the Delaware Council on Farm and Food Policy will be accepting grant applications for projects that stabilize, strengthen and build resilience in the state’s food system.
A well-functioning food supply chain moves Delaware-grown products from farmland and indoor grow sites to market outlets, households and consumers. To that end, the First State Food System Program provides grants to entities that grow, process, store, transport, distribute or sell food in Delaware.
During the pandemic, households across the state are challenged more than ever to afford food. In addition, food businesses struggle to keep doors open, and farmers experience severe disruptions in getting products to market.
The council will provide funding to a diverse range of entities at various points in the food supply chain, including small- to midsized producers.
To be considered for funding as a producer, the farm operation must have annual sales of $20,000-$300,000 and must be producing no more than 300 acres of fruits, vegetables, other specialty crops or other products for human consumption.
The First State Food System Program offers two grant categories, with two funding levels — $2,500-$49,999 and $50,000-$150,000.
Single-use projects will be completed in 12 months or less, and funds will be used to make one-time purchases for equipment or other capital expenses.
Multiuse projects will last for more than a year, and funds will be expended to cover various costs. Applicants who seek funding of $50,000 or more must complete registration here.
The council is working with the Delaware Community Foundation to facilitate the First State Food System Program through its grant-application portal. This allows applicants to apply easily and learn more about additional DCF opportunities. While DCF is facilitating the process, this is not a grant program of the foundation’s.
The application can be found here. Click on “Apply Now” to log in or create a profile. Once logged in, click “Apply” at the top of the page and select “Delaware’s First State Food System Program.”
The funding for this initiative is provided through the American Rescue Plan Act.
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