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Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program (CFPCGP)

The CFPCGP is intended to bring together stakeholders from distinct parts of the food system and to foster understanding of national food security trends and how they might improve local food systems. 

Understanding that people with low incomes experience disproportionate access to healthy foods, projects should address food and nutrition insecurity, particularly among our nation’s most vulnerable populations. Nutrition security means all Americans have consistent and equitable access to healthy, safe, affordable foods essential to optimal health and well-being. Applications from organizations that address food insecurity in rural, Tribal, and historically underserved communities are encouraged. 

Table of Contents

Grant Types 

CFPCGP solicits applications to fund three types of grants:  

  1. Training and Technical Assistance (T&TA) 

This is a continuation multi-year grant for up to 4 years. Applicants request a budget commensurate with the proposed project. The T&TA award is capped at $250,000 in any single year or $1M in 4 years. No matching of funds is required. The T&TA provider is expected to have broad expertise and national scope to offer a one-stop service to CFPCGP applicants requesting technical assistance. T&TA provider Organizations that can demonstrate an involvement in community food and nutrition security issues and programs along with strong training experience, and competence in outcome evaluation are strongly encouraged to apply. This grant is not competed every year. 

  1. Planning Projects (PP) 

Planning Projects (PP) applicants should request a budget commensurate with the proposed project. Average award is approximately $25,000 for 12-36 months. Maximum award is $35,000 over 12-36 months. This is a one-time award. Applicants are to provide matching on a dollar-for-dollar basis for all federal funds requested at the time the application is submitted.  

The purpose of the PP is to complete plans toward the improvement of community food security in keeping with the primary goals of the CFPCGP. Planning Projects are to focus on a defined community and describe in detail the activities and outcomes of the planning project. The PP is to prepare a plan for a successful Community Food Project in keeping with the purpose of CFP program goals. Therefore, the planning grant is expected to model all aspects of the Community Food Projects. Grantees of PP will be required to participate in the CPPCGP program evaluation, including required project data collection, sharing of data with the T&TA entity. This grant is competed every year.  

  1. Community Food Projects (CFP) 

Community Food Projects (CFP) applicants request a budget commensurate with their proposed project. Average award is approximately $298,000 over 36 to 48 months. No single award should exceed $125,000 in any single year or $400,000 over four years. Applicants are to provide matching on a dollar-for-dollar basis for all federal funds requested at the time the application is submitted. The purpose of the CFP is to support the development of projects with a ONE-TIME infusion of federal dollars to make such projects self-sustaining. CFPs are designed to create community-based food projects with objectives, activities and outcomes that are in alignment with CFPCGP primary goals. Grantees of CFP will be required to participate in the CPPCGP program evaluation, including required project data collection, sharing of data with the T&TA entity. This grant is competed every year.   


Applicants must meet all CFP Purpose and Priorities eligibility requirements AND be of an eligible entity type. Please read below for details on these eligibility requirements.  

CFP Purpose and Priorities  

All projects must align with the CFPCGP Purpose and Priorities as per the current RFA. Applicants for the CFPCGP must meet ALL the requirements discussed in the RFA.  

All four mandatory eligibility requirements are detailed on page 15 of the current RFA, and are included below: 

  1. Have experience in the area of-  

       (A) community food work, particularly concerning small and medium-sized farms, including the provision of food to people in low-income communities and the development of new markets in low-income communities for agricultural producers;  

       (B) job training and business development activities for food-related activities in low-income communities; or  

       (C) Efforts to reduce food insecurity in the community, including food distribution, improving access to services, or coordinating services and programs; 

  1. demonstrate competency to implement a project, provide fiscal accountability, collect data, and prepare reports and other necessary documentation;  
  2. demonstrate a willingness to share information with researchers, practitioners, and other interested parties; and  
  3. collaborate with 1 or more local partner organizations to achieve at least 1 hunger-free communities' goal 

Failure to meet the eligibility criteria by the application deadline may result in exclusion from consideration or preclude NIFA from making an award.  

Eligible Entity Type 

In addition to the four mandatory eligibility requirements in Part A of Part III; RFA page 14 and 15, applicants must be a private nonprofit entity.  

Private Non-Profit Entity Definition

Any nongovernmental corporation, trust, association, cooperative or other organization which:  

(i) is operated primarily for scientific, educational, service, charitable, or similar purposes in the public interest; (ii) is not organized primarily for profit; and (iii) uses its net proceeds to maintain, improve, and/or expand its operations. Acceptable evidence of non-profit eligibility includes the following:  

  1. A copy of a currently valid Internal Revenue Service tax exemption certificate  
  2. A statement from a state taxing body, State Attorney General, or other appropriate state official certifying that the applicant organization has a non- profit status  
  3. A certified copy of the organization’s certificate of incorporation or similar document that clearly establishes non-profit status, or  
  4. Any of the above proof for a state or national parent organization and a statement signed by the parent organization that the applicant organization is a local non-profit affiliate. See the NIFA Policy Guide for additional information: NIFA Policy Guide 

Please note that this information is relevant to the current authorizing legislation and RFA: CFP RFA  

Technical Training and Assistance for CFPCGP Applicants and Existing Grantees 

Technical Training and Assistance for CFPCGP Applicants and Existing Grantees | National Institute of Food and Agriculture (

Grant Opportunity Page 

Thank you for your interest in the CFP competitive grant program. This funding opportunity is closed. At the beginning of each fiscal year, NIFA publishes for the Upcoming RFA Calendar for all NIFA funding opportunities. This calendar is regularly updated. Use the link below to access a copy of the CFP Request for Application (RFA) and the Technical Assistance Webinar.

Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program | National Institute of Food and Agriculture (

Resources for Applicants and Awardees 

Program type
Competitive Grant Programs
Grant Program
Related Resources

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