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.