Grants available for Community Development/Local Food Projects

from North Dakota Local Food Development Alliance

Thank you to Deb Nelson of Vision West ND for sharing these upcoming grant opportunities!

Below are three very different funding opportunities: USDA-RD’s HFFI program for healthy food retailers and other food enterprises; an anti-poverty program from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, and a program to promote environment and resource sustainability from a private foundation. Check them out if you have an interest. All fund nationally.



America’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative: Partnerships Program

Application deadline: November 3, 2023
Grant amount: Up to a total of $30,000,000 is available. Grants to applicants will range from $200,000 to $3,000,000 depending on the type of activities proposed.
Description: America’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), a program administered by Reinvestment Fund on behalf of USDA Rural Development, works to improve access to fresh, healthy foods in underserved rural and urban areas. HFFI’s new Local and Regional Healthy Food Financing Partnerships Program will support public-private partnerships to establish and grow local, regional, or state food financing programs that provide financial and technical assistance to healthy food retailers (grocery and other markets) and food enterprises (food retail supply chain businesses). Grants will provide support for operating expenses (capacity building activities) and to help deploy loans and other financial assistance (credit enhancement activities). Eligible applicants include regional, state, or local public-private partnerships of two or more entities that are organized to improve access to fresh, healthy foods and provide financial and technical assistance to eligible projects.

Catholic Campaign for Human Development

Application deadline: Pre-applications are due November 1, 2023.
Grant amount: $25,000 to $75,000
Description: The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is the domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. Catholic Bishops. CCHD works to break the cycle of poverty by helping low-income people participate in decisions that affect their lives, families, and communities. CCHD’s Community Development Grant Program supports organizations that are led by people living in poverty and work to address the root causes of poverty by nurturing solidarity between the poor and non-poor and facilitating the participation of people living in poverty in decisions that perpetuate poverty in their lives. The Economic Development Grant Program supports economic development initiatives that significantly include the voice of the poor and marginalized in developing new businesses that offer good jobs or develop assets that will be owned and enjoyed by local communities. (Applicant organizations must not promote activities that work against Catholic values.)

Cornell Douglas Foundation

Application deadline: November 30, 2023
Description: The Cornell Douglas Foundation seeks to advocate for environmental health and justice, encourage stewardship of the environment, and further respect for sustainability of resources. The Foundation provides grants to organizations in the United States that focus on environmental health and justice, land conservation, mountaintop removal mining, sustainability of resources, and watershed protection

Rural Food Sustainability Grant Program Strengthens Local and Regional Food Systems




BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Commerce is launching the Rural Food Sustainability Grant Program, dedicated to boosting food access, sustainability, and economic development in rural communities. This program supports sustainable grocery services, food access, and the growth of rural food co-ops. These co-ops help aggregate, store, and distribute food in rural areas, addressing unique challenges.


"Commerce is committed to enhancing wealth and quality of life in North Dakota," says Emma Cook, Community Development Liaison for Commerce. "The program aims to strengthen local food systems, improve grocery supply quality, encourage local partnerships, support innovative solutions, foster rural community development, and promote economic collaboration." The program includes two components:


Component 1: Feasibility studies for food accessibility and expansion projects (up to $20,000).

Component 2: Grants for implementation of sustainable food access projects (up to $300,000).


The following outlines the timeline for applications and awards:


  • Applications Open: Sep 8, 2023.
  • Applications Close: Oct 13, 2023.
  • Awards: Oct 24, 2023.


Component 2 will be opening in early 2024.


Eligible applicants include nonprofits, local entities, economic development organizations, and tribal entities. The program focuses on communities with a population of less than 10,000 and encourages but does not require matching funds. Regular maintenance funding is excluded, and projects must enhance food access with a sustainable plan.


For further details, visit


The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services.


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C O N T A C T:


Amber Werner     |     701-328-5303


Kim Schmidt     |     701-328-2532