Applications Now Being Accepted for the Montgomery County Resident & Community Food Production Gardening Grant Program

Applications are being accepted now through October 29th for Montgomery County’s Resident and Community Food Production Gardening Grant Program. $160,000 in grants will be awarded to Montgomery County based organizations that increase resident access to yard, patio, and community gardening supplies, space, and education. 501(c)(3) organizations or collaboratives/community groups with nonprofit partners serving as project fiscal agents are eligible to apply.

All applications will be completed through an online Google form, which is available in English and Spanish. The links to both applications are below. If you cannot complete this application online or require the application be provided in a language other than English or Spanish, please contact mcressall@mocofoodcouncil.org to coordinate.

  • Please find the application links here:
  •  The application should be completed in one sitting, though you may access the form here (English application) or here (Spanish application) to copy/paste questions into a separate document, and return to the form at a later time to input your responses. Once complete, you must hit ‘SUBMIT’ to finalize the application. The primary contact email listed on the application will receive a copy of the submitted responses.
  • Please find additional grant program information in the documents linked below.
  • For any questions about the application or process, please contact Massa Cressall at mcressall@mocofoodcouncil.org.

An information session via Zoom was held for interested applicants on Friday, October 16th. To review the presentation slides and Q&A from that information session, please click here.

Timeline:

  • Thursday, October 15th at 12:00 pm EST: Applications open
  • Friday, October 16th at 2:00pm EST: Information session
  • Thursday, October 29th at 5:00 pm EST: Applications are due
  • Wednesday, November 11th: Awards announced
  • June 30, 2021: Spend down deadline for grant funds
  • July 31, 2021: Final grant reports due

Grant Description:

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the stability of the local food supply chain, and food insecurity has risen dramatically. In an effort to coordinate a strategic response to these conditions, Montgomery County’s COVID-19 Food Security Response Strategy prioritizes investments in systems, programs, and partnerships that build our local food system resiliency for the long-term.

Community and home gardening promotes food sovereignty, healthy living, civic engagement, and racial and social justice by creating opportunities for residents to create their own food sources, thereby reducing barriers to affordable and culturally-appropriate food access.  Community gardens are an effective way for residents who have been historically and disproportionately impacted by food insecurity and poor health outcomes to grow their own fresh, local, and nutritious food. Community garden programs can also build community advocacy capacity for healthy food, connect neighbors around sharing resources and tips on gardening at home, and provide social and emotional benefits. Through this program, Montgomery County is granting up to $160,000 in funding to initiatives that will expand local food production through home and community farming and gardening.

Eligible Montgomery County 501(c)(3) organizations, or collaboratives/community groups with nonprofit partners serving as project fiscal agents, can apply for up to $25,000 to increase organizational capacity to provide resident access to yard, patio, and community gardening supplies, space, and education. Priority for funding will focus on projects that:

  • Establish new or renewed small-space food production locations, including:
    • Private land, such as those owned by community based organizations, faith-based institutions, and educational institutions
    • Underutilized, unused, vacant, or abandoned lots in neighborhoods and municipal centers
    • Unused and abandoned plots in community gardens
    • Other creative opportunities for land access or growing spaces, such as (but not limited to) vertical gardening and rooftop gardening.
  • Increase access to culturally appropriate foods in Montgomery County
  • Provide gardening and nutrition education resources, and engage community residents directly in food production
  • Demonstrate partnerships, including with the business community for in-kind or discounted supply purchases to increase the cost efficiency of programming
  • Provide planting materials, containers, seeds, seedlings and/or education to residents to enable them to grow their own produce in yards and/or on patios
  • Increase food access for residents in zip codes with high rates of food insecurity (20872, 20877, 20886, 20901, 20902, 20903, 20904, 20906)
Please find information on culturally appropriate foods in the following two reports:

A panel of local community, food security, and gardening stakeholders will review the applications and determine grant awards based on the following criteria:

  • Budgets are based on research with cost estimates for specific item(s) to be purchased and detailed staffing costs
  • Application demonstrates how the program will be financed/maintained in the long term
  • Program increases food production and food access in the County, with a focus on providing culturally appropriate food to support diverse populations in the County
  • The purpose and need for the program are clearly stated
  • The program has demonstrated readiness to be able to use these funds within the designated time frame (November 2020-June 2021)
  • The location/specific space for this program has been identified
  • The application demonstrates existing relationships with the County’s food security network

Eligible costs under this grant program include, but are not limited to: supplies, equipment, infrastructure expenditures, staffing costs, permitting costs, and educational materials. Please contact Massa Cressall at mcressall@mocofoodcouncil.org with any questions.

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. Food for Montgomery, a public-private initiative working to address the alarming spike in food insecurity due to COVID-19, will provide more food to more people while also helping Montgomery County recover the pandemic.

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.