The Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) is now accepting applications for the popular Micro-Grant for Food Security Program (MGFSP). This is the third year of the grant program, which provides support for small-scale gardening, herding, and livestock operations to increase the quantity and quality of locally grown food in food-insecure communities. A total of $2 million is available for this year’s program, which was provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the 2018 Farm Bill.

This year’s program is open to:

  • Individuals, including backyard farmers – up to $5,000
    • Applicants must be Hawai`i residents, at least 18 years old, and the head of the household.
    • Those previously granted awards under the MGFSP are ineligible.
  • Organizations that are registered to do business in Hawai‘i, including Native Hawaiian, non-profits, federally funded educational facilities – up to $10,000.
  • Organizations receiving awards will be required to provide matching funds of at least 10 percent of the grant award. The matching funds cannot be derived from other federal sources.

The online application form and program information for individuals are available at the HDOA Market Development Branch website at: https://hdoa.hawaii.gov/add/md/. The Request for Proposals for organizations is posted on the State Procurement Office website at: https://hands.ehawaii.gov/hands/opportunities/opportunity-details/22883

The deadline for all applications is noon on June 15, 2023.

“There is overwhelming interest in this grant program, and we are glad that we are able to open it to organizations this year,” said Sharon Hurd, chairperson of the Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture. “We have seen the good work that individuals have done in increasing their family’s food security and look forward to what organizations will be able to do for their communities.”

Consideration will be based on the description of the project, the number of beneficiaries, and whether the applicant received an award in the previous programs. Consideration will also be given to the level of food security in the location of the household or organization’s project plan as indicated on the Food Insecurity Index, calculated by Conduent Healthy Communities Institute using data from Claritas, 2022. The index, which maps food insecurity by zip code, may be found at: https://www.hawaiihealthmatters.org/indexsuite/index/view?alias=foodinsecurity.

Examples of the types of activities that may be funded under this grant include:

  • Small-Scale Gardening – purchase tools or equipment, soil, seeds, plants, canning equipment, refrigeration, composting equipment, towers, hydroponic and aeroponic farming.
  • Small-Scale Herding and Livestock Operations – purchase animals, buy, erect, or repair fencing for livestock.

To assist interested parties with the application process, a Zoom webinar has been scheduled for:

Wednesday, May 17, 2023, 10 am, Hawai‘i Standard Time

To join the webinar, click on: https://zoom.us/j/96925183234

Source: governor.hawaii.gov