The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has launched a grant program to support farms and other food businesses and institutions that have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The RFR has a long list of examples of the kinds of projects that are eligible, and broadly states: “Projects will support the immediate and projected needs of the Commonwealth’s local food system, including (i) information technology needs; (ii) facility adaptation to new safety guidelines; (iii) storage, processing, and delivery equipment to adapt to supply chain disruptions and to serve food insecure residents, and (iv) other strategies that connect local food production with food insecure communities and residents and increase food equity for all residents.” The full application and instructions are available here. Some key details:
Projects will be funded on a rolling basis through September 15.
Funding is available for a range of sized projects, from very small to as much as $500,000.
Applicants may submit up to three proposals.
Evaluation criteria include demonstrated evidence of impact and need, a commitment to equity, sustainability and scalability of the project, and other factors.
Funding is on a reimbursement basis, so funds will be distributed only after costs have been incurred and receipts submitted.
Funding is for capital infrastructure and equipment purchased must be new.
Funding may not be spent on labor or food.
There is no match requirement.
More information about this program is available here: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/food-security-infrastructure-grant-program.
Adapted from UMass Extension Vegetable Notes, June 18, 2020