Tuesday, September 5, 2023 - 04:22 pm

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 ndgov.link/RuralFoodGrant.