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Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits, For-Profits, Agencies, Individuals, and Organizations to Support Emerging and Disadvantaged Farmers

Minnesota Local Food Purchase Assistance (LFPA) Program


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA)
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: Minnesota

Important Dates
Deadline: 05/30/23 11:59 PM CT - Email receipt or postmarked by date. Save

Grant Description
Grants to Minnesota nonprofit and for-profit organizations, individuals, government entities, agricultural cooperatives, educational institutions, and economic development organizations to support the efforts of emerging or disadvantaged farmers and to provide nutritious food to underserved communities. Applicants are advised that required registrations must be completed prior to submitting an application. Projects must show joint decision-making between partners.

The Minnesota Local Food Purchase Assistance (LFPA) Program is a new grant program from the MDA to fund projects that:

  • Buy local food, primarily from socially disadvantaged and emerging farmers
  • Distribute food to underserved communities throughout the state

It is anticipated that applications will propose a wide range of models for local food procurement and distribution. Requirements include:

  • Sourcing at least 70% of food from within the geographic boundaries of Minnesota
  • Sourcing at least 70% of food from socially disadvantaged and emerging farmers
  • Distributing food to communities, at least 75% of which must be underserved, at no cost

This grant will prioritize local food procurement from socially disadvantaged and emerging farmers. This includes: farmers of color; American Indian or Alaskan Native farmers; women; veterans; farmers with disabilities; young farmers; beginning farmers; and LGBTQ+ farmers. Additionally, this grant prioritizes collaboration within communities around the state and distributing food in the same community as it was grown. This collaboration supports the development or strengthening of relationships within communities. Individual projects do not need to have large-scale geographic reach; however, consideration will be given to the range of awarded projects to ensure that overall distribution of funding impacts different geographic areas across Minnesota. This grant also prioritizes novel food sourcing and distribution outside of the traditional emergency food/hunger relief structures.

Expected outcomes of MN LFPA funded projects include:

  • Strengthen local and regional food systems and support local, socially disadvantaged, and emerging farmers/ producers through building and expanding economic opportunities.
  • Establish and broaden partnerships with farmers/producers and the food distribution community to ensure distribution of fresh and nutritious foods to underserved communities.
  • Demonstrate the ability of this one-time investment in community-based projects to:
    • Create new and lasting market opportunities for farmers and producers, especially those considered socially disadvantaged and emerging.
    • Create new and lasting distribution networks, especially ones that can bring food to underserved communities.
    • Create a needs assessment for infrastructure to support local and regional food systems.
  • Demonstrate the utility of creating formal agreements with farmers that may support them in accessing loans or financing for their farm business.
  • Demonstrate overall effectiveness of grant administration as informed by public engagement and the overall impact on Minnesota communities.

For a complete list of expected project outcomes, see page 25 of the RFA, in Supporting Documents, below. 

For information regarding eligible expenses, see page 8 of the RFA, in Supporting Documents, below. 

For project examples, see page 27 of the RFA, in Supporting Documents, below. 


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Individuals (including farmers), non-profit organizations, for-profit businesses, tribal nations, government entities, agricultural cooperatives, economic development organizations, educational institutions, and representatives of a community collaboration are eligible to apply.

Applicants are required to partner with at least one other individual or organization as part of their application. Those in search of partners and collaborators can advertise their interest via an online directory, in Supporting Documents, below.

For additional eligibility regarding partners and collaborators, see page 7 of the RFA, in Supporting Documents, below.

MDA employees and their spouses are not eligible to receive grants from this program.

If applying as an individual versus a business, you must not have been convicted of a state or federal criminal offense which includes theft, embezzlement of public funds, or forgery.

Individuals cannot be provided direct funds or voucher systems (e.g., gift cards, coupons) to make individualized purchases. Individuals cannot have conditions placed on them to receive the food (i.e., no mandated trainings, classes, or services).

For information regarding ineligible expenses, see page 9 of the RFA, in Supporting Documents, below.

Pre-Proposal Conference
Interested parties can attend one of two virtual information sessions to learn more about the MN LFPA Program and Request for Applications. The sessions will be held at the following times:

April 18, 2023, from 5 - 6 p.m.
Register for this event:

April 19, 2023, from 12 - 1 p.m.
Register for this event:

A recording and details on questions asked will be posted to the website.

Pre-Application Information
It is best practice to submit your application at least 24 hours in advance to prevent unforeseen delays. Applications will not be accepted under any circumstances after the grant deadline.
- Questions due no later than 11:59 pm Central Time (CT): May 23, 2023
- Cut-off for technical assistance with the online application system at 5:00 pm CT: May 30, 2023
- Applications due no later than 11:59 pm CT: May 30, 2023
Paper applications must be postmarked by May 30, 2023 and received by June 13, 2023.
- Applicants notified of decisions; grant agreement negotiations begin: July 17, 2023 (estimated)
- Final contract end date: September 15, 2024

A second application cycle is anticipated to be issued in fall 2023.

Applicants must get a Unique Entity ID from the federal System for Award Management ( and provide this ID as part of their application. Please note that applicants are not required to register with, only to get a Unique Entity ID if they do not already have one.

Grantees can request up to 50% of annual funds up-front each year of their project, as outlined in their approved budget.

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants
21 to 40 subawards will be issued

Estimated Size of Grant
The maximum award is $100,000 and the minimum is $10,000.
- Applicants may indicate their interest in additional funding if available.

Term of Contract
Projects must not start until the grant contract is signed by all parties and has reached its start date.
Projects must be completed before September 15, 2024.

Contact Information

Submit paper applications to:
MN Local Food Purchase Assistance Program
Commissioner’s Office
625 Robert Street North
Saint Paul, MN 55155

Questions should be submitted by emailing but may be submitted through email, phone, mail, or in-person communication with designated MN LFPA staff. Current designated MN LFPA staff are Valerie Gamble, Lebo Moore, and Alexandra Cortes.

Technical assistance with the online application system will be provided until 5:00 p.m. Central Time on the day of the submission deadline by calling 651-201-6290 or emailing the above email address.

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