Grant Opportunities for Food System Organizations and Businesses

Grant opportunities for food assistance partners:

  • City of Gaithersburg: A portion of the revenue from the annual Winter Lights Festival benefits charities that help hundreds of people in the Gaithersburg community. This year, in response to the increased need for food donations due to the pandemic, qualified Food and Nutrition Programs that serve the residents of the City of Gaithersburg are invited to apply.
    • Application deadline is October 23, 2020.
    • Learn more here.
  • Reopen Montgomery County Grant: The grants will reimburse Montgomery County businesses and nonprofits for expenses incurred to comply with State and County reopening requirements.
    • Grants up to $5,000 still available to provide assistance to small businesses and nonprofits: Montgomery County businesses that have purchased items they need to comply with State and County regulations to protect the public health are encouraged to apply.
    • More information can be found here.
  • Nonprofit, Interest Free, Micro Bridge Loan Account (NIMBL): This interest-free, micro bridge loan program and fund supports the operations of nonprofit entities. The program is administered by the Maryland Nonprofit Development Center and the Maryland Department of Commerce.
    • The program provides short-term financing support to qualifying nonprofit entities between the award date of a government contract and the actual receipt date of those awarded funds. 
    • Learn more here.
  • Community Action Awards: The Community Foundation is now offering small grants of up to $2,000 to advance ideas to make the DMV region a more equitable place to live, work, and thrive. 
    • This grant opportunity is open to individuals and organizations to apply – you just need an idea! .
    • Learn more here.
  • Get Shift Done DMV: This organization is helping people earn a basic income while also providing meals to neighbors in need. The initiative will coordinate, schedule, and pay adversely affected hourly workers in the hospitality industry to work shifts for local nonprofit food access providers.
    • Get Shift Done DMV, with founding investments from The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, Capital One, the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, and the Bainum Family Foundation, will provide wages of $15 an hour to hospitality workers displaced by the coronavirus pandemic.
    • Interested restaurants, nonprofit partners, and individual workers can click here to access sign-up portals.
  • Open Road Alliance Charitable Grants: This grant is for organizations engaging in direct COVID-19 response. They will prioritize organizations and activities that have a clear and direct role in ‘flattening the curve’ and thus limiting, shortening, or minimizing the economic and social, as well as health effects of the pandemic.
    • Organizations can apply for up to $100,000 and can cover any geography and any sector, providing they can demonstrate that they are directly contributing to ‘flattening the curve’ in their community.
    • Application can be found here.

Grant opportunities for food businesses and farms

  • Annie’s Homegrown Grants for Gardens.  School garden programs in the US can apply for the grant, provided that the garden is an edible school garden growing vegetables, fruits, herbs, etc. Grant funds can be used to purchase any equipment appropriate for an edible garden. 
      • Application deadline is November 2nd, 2020.
      • Learn more here.
  • 3R Initiative Restaurant & Retail Grant: Award will support: delivery service fees, auto insurance costs related to deliveries, inventory costs, E-commerce solutions, and in certain circumstances, other COVID-related business expenses. In addition, the 3R staff will help eligible businesses access other relevant county resources.
      • While the 3R Initiative Restaurant & Retail Grant program is specifically designed to help businesses in designated Priority Areas, they are accepting applications from businesses county-wide if there is money available once these areas are served.
      • Application Deadline is November 5th, 2020. 
      • Learn more here.
  • The Farmer Grant Program: This grant from the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, is open to all commercial farm business owners and farm employees in the Northeast region.
      • Eligible applicants must run commercial operations with an established annual farm income of at
        least $1,000 from the harvest and sale of crop, nursery, livestock, greenhouse, or aquaculture products sold on a regular basis. The grant program is not intended for non-commercial gardeners.
      • Farmers on farms affiliated with an institution or a nonprofit organization are also eligible to apply so long as the farm commercially produces and sells agricultural products. For these proposals, they must use the name of the 501(c)(3) organization in the proposal and complete a Grant Commitment Form.
      • The deadline for submitting the proposal is November 17th, 2020 at 5pm EST.
      • Learn more here.
  • COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund: Governor Larry Hogan and the Maryland Department of Labor have launched the new COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, which is designed to support businesses undergoing economic stresses due to the pandemic by preventing or minimizing the duration of unemployment resulting from layoffs. The award (up to $50,000 per applicant), will be a quick deployable benefit and customizable to the specific needs of your business to minimize the need for layoffs.
  • COVID-19 Response and Recovery Funding Opportunities for Restaurants, Food Businesses, and Farms
  • Reopen Montgomery Grant Program: Lotteries will be conducted on a rolling basis until 30-days after the County enters Phase 3 Reopening, or the funding is expended. This grant program is funded by the CARES Act, and must be used by December 31, 2020. Applicants chosen to have their applications reviewed are notified by an email from