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$1.9 million in grant funding available to increase food access

The community grants will fund outreach and destigmatization activities.

Mayor Kim Janey and the Mayor’s Office of Food Access (OFA) today announced that $1.9 million in funding is now available through community grants, using funds the City received through the American Rescue Plan Act. The community grants will fund outreach and destigmatization activities targeted towards reducing food assistance stigma and increasing utilization of safety net and emergency programs. The grants also seek to create community-based solutions to foster a more just food system in Boston. Interested Boston-based individuals, non-profits, and collectives, including artists, designers, and other creatives are encouraged to apply here by Friday September 10, 2021 at 5:00pm.

“In Boston, we know food access is essential for our residents’ wellbeing,” said Mayor Janey. “As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, I urge local non-profits and Boston residents to apply for this grant funding to help expand food access, as well as support education about food assistance resources.”

The Office of Food Access is offering two categories of grants available to the community. 

  1. Food Safety Net Destigmatization and Outreach 
  2. Equity in Food Access 

The grant structure will provide community-based organizations (CBOs) and other entities the opportunity to find creative and innovative community-rooted solutions for food insecurity. Both grants will provide two different levels of participation: basic and expanded. Basic grants will be capped at $50,000, and expanded grants will be capped at $100,000. Activities for both types of grants must be completed within a year. Applicants should choose one level of grant funding to apply for. 

Food Safety Net Destigmatization and Outreach Grant: This grant seeks to increase use, awareness and access to different programs and food resources available for Bostonians and empower community-sourced approaches to destigmatize food safety net and emergency programs.

Equity in Food Access: This grant will fund community-based solutions to foster a more just food system in Boston. Projects should propose innovative solutions that build on existing work and/or fill gaps in at least one of the focus areas identified by the 2021 Mayor’s Food Access Agenda.

All grantees are required to:

  • Attend check-in meetings where organizations will report back on their milestones, provide feedback, and express challenges they are facing, 
  • Submit quarterly financial and programmatic reports, and
  • Collect a minimum set of anonymous data around race, ethnicity, language, and geographic location (zip code) of participants.

Residents and non-profit organizations that serve Boston residents are encouraged to submit proposals for one or both grant opportunities. Both grants are open to any individual or entity who would like to respond. The City encourages participation from:

  • Small and Boston-based,
  • Minority-led, 
  • and/or Women-led entities.

Applications will be open until September 10, 2021 and awards will be announced the week of September 27, 2021. Applicant organizations must serve Boston residents that are experiencing high levels of food insecurity. Organizations and individuals are encouraged to submit collaborative proposals. In order to participate, applicants must have a City of Boston Vendor ID. To sign up, applicants should For questions regarding this process, please email or call 617-635-4564.

About the Mayor’s Office of Food Access

The Mayor’s Office of Food Access strives to give all residents of Boston access to nutritious, affordable, culturally connected food. Keeping the diversity of Boston’s population at heart, OFA’s goal is to create a more food-secure City with a vibrant, inclusive food culture.

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