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Promise Zones Update: Funding Opportunities - SBA and USDA Grants and Programs

U.S. Small Business Administration
Fiscal Year 2015 Women’s Business Center Initial Grant Program

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued a Notice of Funding Availability for the Women’s Business Center Initial Grant program. The SBA expects to provide funding for up to six (6) Initial Phase awards not to exceed $150,000.00 each under this program announcement. Total funding for this grant opportunity is $900,000.

Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations that are located within and will provide services to the population of Alaska, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Vermont, West Virginia, Guam, Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to start a new, community-based Women’s Business Center.

Furthermore, applicants must be private, non-profit organizations with 501(c) tax exempt status from the U.S. Treasury/Internal Revenue Service. Public non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses are not eligible for these awards.

Benefit to Promise Zones: Applicants that submit a certification (HUD Form 50153) signed by an authorized representative of the lead organization of a Promise Zone designated by HUD or the Department of Agriculture supporting the application, or applicants with a track record of serving Native American populations, will receive 5 bonus points.

Application Deadline: June 18, 2015

The Women’s Business Center Initial Grant is available here.

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Food and Nutrition Service
Farmers Market SNAP Support Grants

The Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services announced the availability of up to $3.3 million in competitive funding to support the ability of farmers markets to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a form of payment. These awards will help expand SNAP participants' access to fresh fruits and vegetables and other nutritious foods found at farmers markets, while supporting our nation's farmers and producers.

The Farmers Market SNAP Support Grants will range from $15,000 to $250,000 and must be designed to increase SNAP client accessibility and participation at farmers markets, and support the establishment, expansion, and promotion of SNAP EBT services at farmers markets. Eligible applicants include farmers market organizations and associations, non-profit entities, state, local and tribal nations and other organizations engaged in farmers market management.

Applications Deadline: June 18, 2015

Benefits to Promise Zones: Proposals with projects that include interventions in communities that have been designated USDA Place Based Initiatives (i.e. Promise Zones) may receive priority consideration. Please refer to Page 21-22 of the application for more information.

The Famers Market SNAP Supports Grant Request for Applications is available here.

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Food and Nutrition Service
Fiscal Year 2015 SNAP Process and Technology Improvement Grants

The Food and Nutrition Service announced the availability of $5 million in competitive grants to improve application processing and use of technology in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s SNAP.

USDA is seeking grant applications that focus on modernization projects to improve the quality and efficiency of operations and processes at the local level. Specifically, the Food and Nutrition Service is interested in contemporary solutions to improve application processing timeliness for initial applications or re-certifications.

Priorities for 2015 funding include proposals that streamline the workflow process, incorporate technology improvements for client services, or reduce churning – when a household exits and then re-enters the program within four months.

The entities eligible to apply include:
  • State and local agencies that administer SNAP
  • State or local governments
  • Agencies providing health or welfare services
  • Public health or educational entities
  • Private non-profit entities, such as community-based or faith-based organizations, food banks, or other emergency feeding organizations

Application Deadline: June 2, 2015

Benefit to Promise Zones: May Receive Priority Consideration

The Process and Technology Improvement Grants Request For Applications is available here.

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Summer Meal Program Announcement

USDA is gearing up to kick off the summer season and promote the Department’s Summer Meal Programs, including the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Seamless Summer Option of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). These programs ensure that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. This summer, USDA plans to serve more than 200 million free meals to children 18 years and under at summer meal sites throughout the nation.

How Does It Work?

There are three main entities involved: State agencies, sponsors, and sites.

  • State agencies administer the program and communicate with USDA.
  • Sponsors run the program and communicate with the State agency. Schools, local government agencies, camps, faith-based and other non-profit community organizations that have the ability to manage a food service program may be a sponsor. Sponsors get reimbursed by the program and may manage multiple sites.
  • Sites are places in the community where children receive meals in a safe and supervised environment. Sites may be located in a variety of settings, including schools, parks, community centers, apartment complexes, churches, and migrant centers. Sites work directly with sponsors.

How Can Your Team Get Involved?

  • Contact your state agency to see what’s going on in your community. Who are the local partners and sponsors leading the fight against hunger this summer. Or use the Capacity Builder, a new resource provided by USDA, to find areas of need and gaps of service in your community.
  • Promote the summer meals program to your community. Put up flyers and door hangers with information on where free summer meals are being served that can help families find a nearby summer meals site.
  • Like organizations with sites to provide fun activities for the kids & teens at your site to keep them coming back and to keep them physically and mentally active.
  • Recruit volunteer for sites. Volunteers can serve meals or transport meals for other organizations that are involved with the summer meals program. They can organize physical or mental activities for the kids & teens or simply talk to them about topics to your general mission to serve the community.

Additional Resources:

Contact: Lance Hendrix at lance.hendrix@fns.usda.gov

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