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MICROGRANTS FOR FOOD SECURITY PROGRAM

2024 Application Period

2024 Micro Grants

The application period
for the 2024 MGFSP is now
closed.

DO NOT start purchasing items for the 2024 MGFS program. The applications are under review. The grant agreements are TENTATIVELY going to be sent to awarded applicants in the August timeframe. You will receive an email about an awarded or denial status tentatively in July. All expenses MUST fall within the signed grant agreement period of performance to obtain reimbursement/payment.

Project Timeline

Stay tuned for future
opportunities
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Current Grantees: SmartSimple Portal

Micro Grants for Food Security Program Overview

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has awarded funding through the Micro Grant for Food Security Program to the Alaska Division of Agriculture for the purpose of increasing the quantity and quality of locally grown food through small- scale gardening, herding, and livestock operations in food insecure communities in areas of the State that have significant levels of food insecurity and import significant quantity of foods. The Alaska Division of Agriculture competitively distributes funds from this grant program through subawards to eligible individuals and organizations for select project types.

The Alaska Division of Agriculture is responsible for defining specific details of their subaward programs, ensuring projects are appropriate for the MGFSP, and overseeing the funded projects. This includes announcing availability of funding, conducting public outreach, administering the subaward competition, monitoring subaward projects, and reporting on program outcomes. The Alaska Division of Agriculture provides administrative oversight of the subaward grants, ensuring that subrecipients maintain appropriate records, including receipts, and follow all applicable Federal statutes and regulations as well as the Grant Agreement and applicable AMS General Terms and Conditions, collecting project data, and submitting reports to AMS.

The Alaska Division of Agriculture has $2.6 million available in funding for the 2024 Micro Grant for Food Security Program. The maximum amount for each Micro- Grant awarded is $5,000 per individual and $10,000 per qualifying organization. A 10% cost match will be required for each organization approved grant. The award amounts for individuals will depend on the project type selected. One application per household.

Micro Grant Overview Presentation.

Eligibility

Eligible applicants must be 18 years of age or older, an Alaska resident, physically located in Alaska, and must apply directly to the Alaska Division of Agriculture.

Eligible applicants are defined as:

  • Individuals
  • Indian tribes or tribal organizations
  • Nonprofit organizations that are engaged in increasing food security including:
    • Religious organizations
    • Food banks
    • Food pantries
  • Federally funded educational facilities including:
    • Head Start programs or an Early Head Start program
    • Public elementary schools or public secondary schools
    • Public institutions of higher education
    • Tribal Colleges or Universities
    • Job training programs
  • Local or Tribal governments that may not levy local taxes under State or Federal Law

Eligible applicants must engage in activities that will increase the quantity and quality of locally grown food (including subsistence) for food insecure individuals, families, neighborhoods, and communities. The purchase of food with grant money is not allowed.

Applicants who were not awarded a previous Micro- Grant can re- apply.

Projects

Applicants will be able to select one of the following project types:

  • Small Scale Gardening: Purchasing gardening tools or equipment, soil, soil amendments, seeds, plants, animals, canning equipment, refrigeration, and other necessary items to grow and store food. Funds may be used for the purchase or assembly of composting units and towers designed to grow leafy greens. Includes activities associated with extending the growing season, as well as starting or expanding hydroponic and aeroponic farming.
  • Greenhouse: Engaging in an activity that extends the growing season. Funds may be used for the purchase of lumber and necessary supplies and/ or items to construct a greenhouse.
    NOTE: Greenhouses are defined as a permanent climate-controlled structure enclosed, typically by glass or multiple layers of plastic, is used year-round for the cultivation or protection of plants, and is generally weather resistant.
  • Small Scale Herding and Livestock Operations: Building, buying, erecting, or repairing fencing for livestock. Funds may also be used for building housing/ shelter for animals such as chicken coops, nesting boxes, etc. The purchase of animal feed is not eligible under this grant type.
  • Subsistence: Engaging in other activities relating to increasing food security, as determined by the Secretary. In Alaska this includes fishing, hunting, and harvesting wild plants. The purchase of guns, firearms, ammunition, shells, powder, reloading equipment, and anything pertaining to or associated with guns or firearms are unallowable under this grant program. The purchase of food, including salt, is also ineligible.

Award Amounts

Individuals may receive a fixed amount award dependent on the project type selected:

  • Small Scale Gardening: $1500
  • Greenhouse: $3500
  • Livestock/ Poultry Fencing: $3500
  • Subsistence: $1500

All fixed award amounts will receive a pre- determined amount of funding for shipping allowance for eligible purchases made for grant project based on their location:

  • Anchorage area: $750
  • Outside of Anchorage area or major port: $1250
  • Off road system: $1500

Examples of Allowable Purchases with Micro Grant Funds

*NOTE: These lists are not all-inclusive, simply examples

Gardening projects:

  • Gardening tools
  • Seeds
  • Refrigeration
  • Soil amendments
  • Vertical towers for leafy greens
  • LED grow lights
  • Master Gardner’s Class
  • Registration
  • Freezer
  • Gardening equipment
  • Plants
  • Composting units
  • Hydroponic equipment
  • Growing medium
  • Grow tents
  • Garden boxes
  • Vis queen popups
  • High/Low tunnel
  • Canning Equipment
  • Animals
  • Soil
  • Aeroponic equipment
  • Starter Plugs
  • Apiary
  • Vacuum packing
  • Vis queen bed covers
  • Hoop house

Greenhouse:

  • Lumber
  • Hammers
  • Metal stakes
  • Tie downs
  • Polycarbonate panels
  • PVC pipe
  • Fuel for heating greenhouse
  • Nails
  • Concrete
  • Fasteners
  • Fans
  • Greenhouse shelving
  • Fiberglass hoops
  • Screws
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Wheelbarrows
  • Greenhouse kits
  • Garden hoop kits
  • Generator

Small Scale Herding and Livestock Operations

  • Field fencing
  • Electric fencing
  • Rabbit wire fencing
  • Barb wire
  • Chicken coops
  • Insulation
  • Nails
  • Heated water buckets
  • Heat panels
  • Incubators
  • Hardware cloth
  • Welded utility fencing
  • Post driver
  • Cattle panels
  • Rabbit hutches
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Screws
  • Hanging feeders
  • Troughs
  • Milking machinery or supplies
  • Chicken wire
  • Woven no climb fencing
  • Bailing and Tie wire
  • Lodgepoles
  • Lumber
  • Staples
  • Stock tanks
  • Heat lamps
  • Animals

Subsistence

  • Fishing poles
  • Tackle
  • Rods/ Reels
  • Vacuum sealers and packaging
  • Canning supplies
  • Backpacks
  • Camouflage outerwear
  • Pull behind sled or cart for an animal that was harvested
  • Freezer paper
  • Fishing nets
  • Bait
  • Line
  • Smokers
  • Bow and arrows
  • Coolers
  • Dehydrator
  • Ropes
  • Tarps
  • Dip- nets
  • Oil
  • Canning processors
  • Jars/ lids
  • Knives
  • Waders
  • Freezer
  • Bungee straps
  • Tape

Examples of Unallowable Purchases with Micro Grant Funds

All purchases made with Micro Grant funds are required to follow the Federal Cost Principles of Subpart E- Cost Principles of 2 CFR 200 and the AMS General Terms and Conditions. Items included are not all- inclusive. Below are some examples of unallowable purchases. If unallowable purchases are made with Micro Grant funds, including fixed amount awards, the total costs of the unallowable expenses will be reduced from the overall grant award.

  • Guns
  • Gun powder
  • Shells
  • Food
  • Vehicles
  • Rifles
  • Reloading equipment
  • Pellet Guns
  • Food ingredients
  • Ammunition
  • Gun scopes
  • Gun accessories
  • Cosmetic products
  • Boats
  • Canoes
  • ATV's
  • UTV's
  • Boat Motors
  • Snowmachines

Funding Priorities

Micro grant awards to eligible applicants will be given priority if they:

  • Have not previously received a subaward under this program.
  • Are located in the highest food insecure areas, determined by the census area the project is located in.

Further priority consideration will be given to:

  • Applicants who demonstrate the ability to describe benefits to food security.
  • The number of Direct and Indirect beneficiaries of a project.
  • The completeness of a project description which includes an explanation of how the project will increase food security for direct and indirect beneficiaries.
  • Applications that provide a method to measure food produced, stored, or distributed.

Direct Beneficiaries are defined as those living within the household who will benefit directly from the project.

Indirect Beneficiaries are defined as partnerships with other groups, churches, neighbors, food banks, local communities who will also benefit from the project.

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted electronically via the Alaska Division of Agriculture SmartSimple Application Portal. One application per household.

The Division of Agriculture will not accept applications that are printed and mailed in nor emailed.

Each project must identify at least one expected measurable outcome that specifically demonstrates the project’s impact in increasing food security. Such as pounds of food that will be produced as a result of the project.

Application Review

Each Micro- Grant application received is reviewed by a member of the Alaska Division of Agriculture’s review committee who uses set scoring criteria to evaluate how well the project details address the Micro Grant requirements and funding priorities. Applicants are ranked based on the information provided in the application and cannot provide updated information after the application is submitted. The scoring criteria is outlined in the Request for Applications document. Micro- Grant applications that are selected by the Division of Agriculture for funding must then be submitted to USDA for final approval.

Grant Performance Period

Applicants that are selected and approved for funding must complete a W9 form provided by the Division to be set up as a vendor with the State of Alaska. Once they receive their vendor number, they will be forwarded a Grant Agreement that they must sign. A grant will not be distributed until the grantee has signed the Grant Agreement and completed all required supporting documentation.

Distribution of grant funds to grantees will occur after the grant contracts are completed.

For Individuals: Funds will be paid to the Grantee in up to two payments, one advance and one final payment upon review and approval of the final report, reimbursement request with appropriate backup documentation accompanied, and picture provided of the project. The Division of Agriculture may request additional pictures.

For Organizations: An advance payment must be requested from the Project Coordinator upon final signature of the grant agreement. Final payment will be processed upon review and approval of the final report, reimbursement request with appropriate backup documentation accompanied, and picture provided of the project. The Division of Agriculture may request additional pictures.

Resources

Micro Grant Individual Application Video Tutorial
Micro Grant Organization Application Video Tutorial
Sample Reimbursement Request
Sample Report Template
How to fill out FY23 MGFS Hay & Grain Final Report

Contact Us

For questions about the MGFSP program, please email:
Email: dnr.ag.grants@alaska.gov
Or call: 907-761-3885

Frequently Asked Questions:

How is the grant paid?
Grant funds will be released in two payments:

  • a 50% advance of your total grant award to assist you in starting your project
  • the balance of your grant award is to be spent out of pocket; upon conclusion of the grant award period end date, you will submit a final report detailing how your project went and provide the division requested data to provide evidence of project completion. Upon approval of the final report you will receive reimbursement for the funds you spent out-of-pocket

How long do I have to complete my project?
Project start and end dates will cover a one-year period except for the Special Competition Hay & Grain grant; that award period is nine months in effect from January 1, 2024, through September 30, 2024.

Can I spend funds outside the period of performance timeframe?
No, Funds spent outside the one year of performance begin – end dates will not receive reimbursement.

Do I have to submit backup documentation such as receipts to receive reimbursement?
Yes. The division requests receipts to determine eligible expenses for reimbursement after the period of performance.

Can I change my ‘Project Type’? For example: “I was awarded a Greenhouse: extending the growing season” project type and I can’t/didn’t get around to the building of a Greenhouse but spent grant funds on Subsistence supplies. As such, Can I change my project type?”
No, Per your fully executed grant agreement “APPENDIX B, ARTICLE 4. Scope Changes”. These grant awards are federal funds and approved by USDA AMS. You must stay within your approved project type.

What if I can’t complete my project and have decided to cancel my grant award and return the 50% advance?
Please send an email to dnr.ag.grants@alaska.gov with a statement you wish to withdraw from the MGFS program, your name, Project name, and number of the award you are canceling. You will send the 50% advance, via personal check, cashier’s check, or money order, to the division at:

Division of Agriculture
ATTN: Administrative Officer I
1801 S Margaret Drive, Ste 12
Palmer AK 99645

Once we receive the check or money order, you will be sent a void contract via the DocuSign system. Once the voided contract is completely signed by all parties you will be released from any further obligations to the state.

I bought a new house, or property, or rented an apartment in another location. How do I change my project location?
You cannot change the location or any other part of your application once the grant application in SmartSimple is closed. If you have moved and can no longer perform the project at the designated location, you will need to withdraw from the MGFS program.

What if I could not complete my project before the period of performance end date?
Per your Grant Agreement: “APPENDIX B, ARTICLE 4. Extensions”. In extreme circumstances, Grantees may request an extension beyond the one-year Project End Date. A formal request must be emailed to dnr.ag.grants@alaska.gov, the subject line must outline “No Cost Extension Request, Director Scoresby”. The following information must be outlined in the body of the email:

  • A thorough justification for the extension request (the reason you could not finish your project)
  • Provide a summary of progress to date, and an update on the project, in terms of the project goals and objectives
  • Include any expenses that have been made, an estimate of the amount of remaining funds, and how they will be used in the remaining timeframe
  • Your strategy and the timeline to complete the project (maximum extension is one year)

NOTE: “The deadline for all extension requests will be 30 days prior to the Project End Date.” Each extension request thereafter will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Do I have to pay taxes for the MGFS grant funds?
Yes. You will receive your 1099 from the Division of Finance at the beginning of the year.

MICRO-GRANTS FOR FOOD SECURITY 2022

Final Microgrant for Food Security Projects awarded 2022

All APPROVED projects will have contract period of March 1, 2023-February 29, 2024. Expenses made outside the contract period are not eligible for reimbursement.

Applicants who were not awarded can re-apply for a Micro-grant for food security during the next offering.

Applicants may request a one-year extension at no cost. The request for an extension must be submitted to the Division via email prior to 30 days before their contract end date. Emails must be sent to dnr.ag.grants@alaska.gov.

Terms and Conditions

MICRO-GRANTS FOR FOOD SECURITY 2021

2021 Micro-Grants for Food Security have been awarded and are currently ongoing. Grantees may email dnr.ag.grants@alaska.gov for further assistance with their grants.

Final Microgrant for Food Security Projects awarded 2021