The Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program (CFPCGP) has existed since 1996 as a program to fight food insecurity through developing community food projects that help promote the self-sufficiency of low-income communities. Community Food Projects are designed to increase food security in communities by bringing the whole food system together to assess strengths, establish linkages, and create systems that improve the self-reliance of community members over their food needs.
The 1996 Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act (FAIR) established new authority for federal grants to support the development of Community Food Projects, and the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 re-authorized the program. The program is designed to:
- Meet the needs of low-income people by increasing their access to fresher, more nutritious food supplies.
- Increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for their own food needs.
- Promote comprehensive responses to local food, farm, and nutrition issues.
- Meet specific state, local, or neighborhood food and agricultural needs for infrastructure improvement and development.
- Plan for long-term solutions.
- Create innovative marketing activities that mutually benefit agricultural producers and low-income consumers.
Preferred projects also develop linkages between two or more sectors of the food system, support the development of entrepreneurial projects, develop innovative linkages between the for-profit and nonprofit food sectors, encourage long-term planning activities and multisystem, and build long-term capacity of communities to address the food and agricultural problems of communities, such as food policy councils and food planning associations.
These grants are intended to help eligible private nonprofit entities that need a one-time infusion of federal assistance to establish and carry out multipurpose community food projects. Projects are funded from $10,000–$400,000 and from one to four years. They are one-time grants that require a dollar-for-dollar match in resources. Approximately 18 percent of the submitted proposals have received awards during the history of this program. About $5 million per year have been authorized through 2012.
The CFPCGP legislative authority is located in Section 25 of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 2034). The 1996 Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act (FAIR) established new authority for federal grants to support the development of CFPs, and the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 re-authorized the program and & the authority was amended by the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008& and Section 4402 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act (FCEA) of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-246).
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