Food banks are a necessary part for our social welfare. In today’s economy, there are still many American people who are struggling just to get some food to warm their body. However, managing one isn’t always as easy as it sounds. One of the most problematic things that is faced by many organizations that manages food banks is getting the needed funding to help those who are in need.
Fortunately, these organizations have support from the government and also some charitable foundations that can provide financial assistance in the fight against hunger. Below are some of the programs that are provided to help your organization to make a difference and help the poor:
Grant Opportunities for Food Pantries
Community Development Block Grants
This is the primary source of funding from the government for organizations that focuses on solving community problems, including hunger. The Federal Government through its Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) distributes the grant for local governments, which then will distribute it to deserving organizations or individuals. Typically, the local government will distribute the grant money once a year, after a selection of submitted application.
The application process for this grant may differ in every state, so if your organization is interested to start a food bank or food pantry, the best course of action would be contacting the local county or city government and then ask them how to apply for CDBG grant.
The Community Development Block Grant is not the only source of funding from the government. State or local government may also provide similar grant, which is usually managed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or Department of Social Services. The department is likely to appoint an agency to administer the funding, so you may have to go to the HHS and ask which agency can assist you. Find out about their deadline and the requirements. Submit your application during the timeline provided, and then you wait. There might be little differences in the requirement for each state, so it is impossible for us to list them one by one. It is best to contact your state Department of Health and Human Services directly.
Beside the official grant money from the government, you can also search for assistance from charitable foundations or corporations. Some of the examples of these opportunities are:
It is no longer a secret that many big companies have their own program to assist the community nearby called the Corporate Social Responsibility program. Local food banks located nearby these large scale corporations may submit their application for funding. Ask around and find out how the company spends their charitable money. In most cases, they have a specific department or formed a foundation to support local communities. Usually, programs that have huge benefits for the community such as food banks and food pantries are welcomed.
Some examples of these large-scale corporations that distribute the money through their foundations are the Walmart Foundation, The Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation, and Food Lion Food Charitable Foundation.
There is still one more source for funding, which is foundation grant. Many nonprofit foundations, from small to national level, that offer help for food pantries and food bank. Some of the good examples are:
The Food Pantry – it is basically the most well-known foundation in the San Francisco Area. If you are considering opening a food bank in that area, we recommend getting in touch with this foundation.
ConAgra Foods – there are up to 15 grant available each year from this foundation. The grants provided are widely ranged, from $10,000 to $75,000. It is best to prepare a good proposal or application, with a specific information on the number of people that you target to serve.
The Barrett Bateman Foundation – it is a Catholic based non-profit foundation is open for application for food banks that provide good and informative budget sheets.
Other charities – Believe it or not, you can also get financial assistance for your food bank and food pantries from community foundations, local organizations, or even local religious organizations. The amount of money received might not much, but they may also want to be involved and help the process. That’s a great value too, right?
Either government grants or foundation grants, I hope you find this post useful to fund your noble cause.
- Grants for Funding a Food Pantry
- Community Development Block Grant Program – CDBG
- Foundation Center
- Illinois Department of Human Services
- The Food Pantry – Peace on Earth & Food for All
- Image: freerepublic.com