COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR FARMERS AND CONSUMERS

Current Funding Opportunities

SEPTEMBER

EBT/SNAP Equipment Grant | Deadline: September 23rd

Goals: To provide free SNAP processing equipment to direct marketing farms and farmers’ markets.

Eligibility Factors: Eligibility is limited to direct marketing farms & farmers’ markets who do not currently have working equipment that was received through previous federal grants. Equipment does not process credit/debit.

Funding Limitations: Grants will be administered through the form of an equipment package, not funding. View the components of equipment packages here.

Anticipated Timeline: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, so applying early is better, as funds may run out.

Agricultural Food Safety Improvement Program (AFSIP) | Deadline: September 30th

Goals: To support produce and aquaculture operations that are looking to improve their food safety practices and work towards minimizing the risks of microbial contamination and food-borne illnesses.

Eligibility Factors: Produce and aquaculture operations in Massachusetts who have been commercially farming on the the property for at least the 3 previous years may be eligible.

Funding Limitations: Grants of up to $50,000 and 80% of project costs are available. Some project types may be eligible for up to $200,000 in funding; read more here.

Anticipated Timeline: Contracts are expected to be awarded in November. This is a reimbursement grant, so purchases cannot be made prior to contract completion. Contracts will end on June 30, 2023.

OCTOBER

On-Farm Milk Storage & Handling Grant | Deadline: October 6th

Goals: To support the purchase of specialized equipment that will improve milk storage, handling, and energy efficiencies. Projects funded by this grant will streamline milk pick up, create efficiencies around milk storage, and improve handling for both farmers and their processors.

Eligibility Factors: Applicants will be able to select from a pre-approved list of eligible equipment which includes milk storage tanks, milk pipeline, glycol chillers, milk loading systems, reclaim systems for water, cooling equipment, plate coolers/heat exchangers, and equipment installation costs. Eligible applicants must be headquartered in the Northeast US.

Funding Limitations: Grants will range from $15,000- $50,000 with a 25% match commitment. Match waivers may also be available.

Anticipated Timeline: Applicants must apply with a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number through SAM.gov, and first-time farms are encouraged to begin this process as soon as possible, as there are significant delays in receiving this number.

Conservation Stewardship Program | Deadline: October 21st

Goals: To encourage current and new stewardship practices by developing & funding a plan to help farmers increase productivity and protect the value of their land. The funding should go towards implementation of at least one new conservation practice.

Eligibility Factors: Producers must have effective control of the land for the term of the proposed contract. CSP is available to all producers, regardless of operation size or type of crops produced.

Funding Limitations: CSP is awarded in 5-year contracts of an average of $20,000/contract. Maximum funding is $200,000/contract.

Anticipated Timeline: Decisions are expected to be made in December or January, following one-on-one field visits by NRCS.

JANUARY

Food Safety Certification for Specialty Crops Program | Deadline: January 31st

Goals: To offer financial assistance for specialty crop operations that incur eligible on-farm food safety program expenses related to obtaining or renewing a food safety certification in calendar years in 2022 or 2023

Eligibility Factors: Eligible applicants must have obtained or renewed a food safety certification that was issued between June 21, 2022 and December 31, 2022, and have already paid related expenses at the time of application. Only small specialty crop businesses are eligible (average annual specialty crop value of less than $500,000). View more about eligible expenses here.

Funding Limitations: Grants will be reviewed on a rolling basis and free application assistance is available through your local FSA office.

FEBRUARY

Commercial Refrigeration Grant | Deadline: February 3rd

Goals: To increase the adoption of more climate-friendly low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants in commercial refrigeration equipment in Massachusetts.

Eligibility Factors: Eligible applicants include new or existing retail food locations, food banks, and nonprofit institutions in Massachusetts that are installing or retrofitting energy-efficient refrigeration systems.

Funding Limitations: This is a reimbursement grant. Funding is variable based on type of project, ranging from 25-100% of project costs, up to $200,000. View funding details HERE.

Anticipated Timeline: Decisions are expected to be announced in May and contracts are anticipated to start in June.

ROLLING APPLICATIONS, NO DEADLINE

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

Goals: To address natural resource concerns by planning and/or installing conservation practices that benefit soil, water, plants, air, and animals.

Eligibility Factors: Agricultural or aquacultural producers across the state are welcome to apply. Additional eligibility requirements may be found by contacting your local NRCS field office. Must complete a conservation plan in conjunction with NRCS before submitting an application.

Funding Limitations: Funding possibilities vary based on project. Get in touch with NRCS to learn more.

Massachusetts Food Trust Program (MFTP)

Goals: To increase access to healthy, affordable food in low-income, underserved areas through grants, loans, and business assistance.

Eligibility Factors: Eligible businesses include farm stands, grocery & corner stores, farmers’ markets, food hubs, and more. Must expand food access in underserved areas and align with community needs. Eligible applicants likely accept SNAP, HIP, or WIC. For-profits, non-profits, and cooperatives are all eligible. Preference will be given to applicants who have 3 years of operating experience and who have not previously received state funding.

Funding Limitations: Grants available from $5,000 to $25,ooo. Loans available from $15,000 to $300,000. Funds may be used for capital expenses, real estate, and more.

SEPTEMBER

Agricultural Food Safety Improvement Program (AFSIP) | Deadline: September 30th

Goals: To support produce and aquaculture operations that are looking to improve their food safety practices and work towards minimizing the risks of microbial contamination and food-borne illnesses.

Eligibility Factors: Produce and aquaculture operations in Massachusetts who have been commercially farming on the the property for at least the 3 previous years may be eligible.

Funding Limitations: Grants of up to $50,000 and 80% of project costs are available. Some project types may be eligible for up to $200,000 in funding; read more here.

Anticipated Timeline: Contracts are expected to be awarded in November. This is a reimbursement grant, so purchases cannot be made prior to contract completion. Contracts will end on June 30, 2023.

FEBRUARY

Commercial Refrigeration Grant | Deadline: February 3rd

Goals: To increase the adoption of more climate-friendly low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants in commercial refrigeration equipment in Massachusetts.

Eligibility Factors: Eligible applicants include new or existing retail food locations, food banks, and nonprofit institutions in Massachusetts that are installing or retrofitting energy-efficient refrigeration systems.

Funding Limitations: This is a reimbursement grant. Funding is variable based on type of project, ranging from 25-100% of project costs, up to $200,000. View funding details HERE.

Anticipated Timeline: Decisions are expected to be announced in May and contracts are anticipated to start in June.

ROLLING APPLICATIONS, NO DEADLINE

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

Goals: To address natural resource concerns by planning and/or installing conservation practices that benefit soil, water, plants, air, and animals.

Eligibility Factors: Agricultural or aquacultural producers across the state are welcome to apply. Additional eligibility requirements may be found by contacting your local NRCS field office. Must complete a conservation plan in conjunction with NRCS before submitting an application.

Funding Limitations: Funding possibilities vary based on project. Get in touch with NRCS to learn more.

SEPTEMBER

EBT/SNAP Equipment Grant | Deadline: September 23rd

Goals: To provide free SNAP processing equipment to direct marketing farms and farmers’ markets.

Eligibility Factors: Eligibility is limited to direct marketing farms & farmers’ markets who do not currently have working equipment that was received through previous federal grants. Equipment does not process credit/debit.

Funding Limitations: Grants will be administered through the form of an equipment package, not funding. View the components of equipment packages here.

Anticipated Timeline: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, so applying early is better, as funds may run out.

FEBRUARY

Commercial Refrigeration Grant | Deadline: February 3rd

Goals: To increase the adoption of more climate-friendly low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants in commercial refrigeration equipment in Massachusetts.

Eligibility Factors: Eligible applicants include new or existing retail food locations, food banks, and nonprofit institutions in Massachusetts that are installing or retrofitting energy-efficient refrigeration systems.

Funding Limitations: This is a reimbursement grant. Funding is variable based on type of project, ranging from 25-100% of project costs, up to $200,000. View funding details HERE.

Anticipated Timeline: Decisions are expected to be announced in May and contracts are anticipated to start in June.

ROLLING APPLICATIONS, NO DEADLINE

Massachusetts Food Trust Program (MFTP)

Goals: To increase access to healthy, affordable food in low-income, underserved areas through grants, loans, and business assistance.

Eligibility Factors: Eligible businesses include farm stands, grocery & corner stores, farmers’ markets, food hubs, and more. Must expand food access in underserved areas and align with community needs. Eligible applicants likely accept SNAP, HIP, or WIC. For-profits, non-profits, and cooperatives are all eligible. Preference will be given to applicants who have 3 years of operating experience and who have not previously received state funding.

Funding Limitations: Grants available from $5,000 to $25,ooo. Loans available from $15,000 to $300,000. Funds may be used for capital expenses, real estate, and more.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has recently launched a more comprehensive webpage for federal food systems grant programs. Grants are available at every stage from production & processing to distribution & markets. Find it HERE.

If you represent a funding organization or have knowledge of funding opportunities for farmers and food producers that are not listed here, please contact shickey@semaponline.org.

Additional Assistance

SEMAP can assist you in your grant application process in several ways. We can review your application once you are ready to submit, we can walk you through it from start-to-finish, and/or we can write a letter of support for your project. If you would like in-depth, start-to-finish assistance, please use this form. If you would like a review or letter of support, please email info@semaponline.org. Keep in mind that, as a small organization, SEMAP will require at least 5 business days of notice ahead of any application deadlines.

We hosted a virtual workshop on grant-writing in Fall 2021. While we specifically looked at the Food Security Infrastructure Grant, some of the lessons learned can be applied to grant-writing broadly, especially for state grant programs. You can view the recording and read our notes.

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) hosted a virtual walk-through of most of their recurring grant programs in Winter 2022. This covers CSAP, AFSIP, FVEP, MEGA, AIP, and more. Watch the recording and read more about all MDAR grant programs.

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