Micro-Grants for Food Security

HDOA News Release 

The Hawaii 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, for up to $5,000. Applicants must be a Hawaii resident, at least 18 years old and head of the household. Those previously granted awards under the MGFSP are ineligible. 

Organizations that are registered to do business in Hawaii, including Native Hawaiian, nonprofits, federally funded educational facilities are eligible to receive 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.

Molokai residents and organizations can find the online application form and program information for individuals on the HDOA Market Development Branch website at hdoa.hawaii.gov/add/md/.  The Request for Proposals for organizations is posted on the State Procurement Office website at hands.ehawaii.gov/hands/opportunities/opportunity-details/22883. The deadline for all applications is noon on June 15.

“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 Hawaii 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 hawaiihealthmatters.org/indexsuite/index/view?alias=foodinsecurity

Last year’s program received 7,400 applications, of which 579 were awarded, ranging from $750 to $5,000 and totaling about $2.6 million.

A Zoom webinar that assisted with the application process was recorded and will be posted on the HDOA website at hdoa.hawaii.gov/add/md/

Questions regarding the application process may addressed to HDOA’s Market Development Branch at (808) 973-9595 or email hdoa.md.microgrants@hawaii.gov


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