November 4, 2020
$201,810 in grants has been awarded to 12 Montgomery County based organizations that increase resident access to yard, patio, and community gardening supplies, space, and education. Grant awards are funded through County General Funds and Federal CARES Act funding that was appropriated by the Montgomery County Executive and Montgomery County Council to address local food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 12 organizations awarded funding through the program are: AfriThrive Inc., Audubon Naturalist Society, Community Support Services Inc., HarvestShare, IMPACT Silver Spring, ISWA, Kunzang Odsal Palyul Changchub Choling, Menare Foundation Inc., Rockville Seniors Inc., Shepherd’s Table, The Living Legends Awards for Service to Humanity, and Vietnamese American Services.
A panel of 16 local community, food security, and gardening experts reviewed the applications to determine grant awards. The grant application opened on October 14th and closed on October 29th. Grant applications were reviewed on criteria that included the long term viability of the project and the extent to which the project increases resident and community food production and food access in the County, with a focus on providing culturally appropriate food to support diverse populations in zip codes with high rates of food insecurity in the County. Funded projects range from establishing or enhancing resident gardening programs serving diverse community members, to providing gardening education to residents on planting, cultivating and harvesting.
Montgomery County Council President Sidney Katz commented, “I am so pleased that the County will be awarding grants for this community gardens program. There has never been a time when food security is as important as it is now. The pandemic has illustrated major inequities in our County – food security being at the forefront. The grants that will help start up more community gardens are so very necessary to encourage more people to grow fresh food in an environmentally and economically positive way.“
The Montgomery County government has recently partnered with the Greater Washington Community Foundation to launch Food for Montgomery to galvanize private sector and individual support of food access initiatives in the County in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Visit the Food for Montgomery website to learn more and contribute.
This grant opportunity is a partnership between the Montgomery County Food Security Task Force, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, and the Montgomery County Food Council. For the latest COVID-19 updates, please visit the County’s COVID-19 website and follow Montgomery County on Facebook @MontgomeryCountyInfo and Twitter @MontgomeryCoMD.