Getting grants for food pantries is the best way to increase the magnitude of the assistance for the poor. Indeed, there are several other funding options available such as donations, but getting the grants is the best way to fund food pantries because in general grants are larger and more stable than donations, and yet you’re free from the obligation to repay the money.
So where can you search for food pantries-related grants? There are various sources you may want to try; but, in general, grants are commonly available from the government, charitable organizations, and corporations.
Government Grants for Food Pantries
The government offers grants available for food pantries, and, in general, they are managed state by state. Most states in the US use their Department of Human Services to distribute the grant. It is often that this department works together with food pantries to provide public assistance. To submit your application, make sure to visit your State’s Department of Human Services to learn about the guidelines that should be followed, as well as the deadline for the grant.
Another source may come from the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). This grant is funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Department. If you want to apply for a grant, you may have to contact your local city or county government and ask about how to apply for CDBG grant. Note that the grant process takes quite some time, and it is a program that is held annually, so don’t forget to learn about the grant application submission deadline too.
You can also use grants.gov and cfda.gov to get more information about the foundations that may offer grants for food pantries.
Some big corporations may also be the source for your food pantry’s funding. There are several national corporations that support the community by giving away grants and donations for the community assistance; which include providing money for food pantries. Most of them are related to food products like Whole Foods, Kraft Foods, etc; but if your town is near a distribution center of a national chain you may want to ask around about the grant possibility.
Another great source for both grants and donations for food pantries are foundations, organizations, or local community. From huge national foundation like Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to local churches, the possibility is practically endless. If you are looking for grants for food pantries in the San Francisco area, you may want to try asking help to the Food Pantry, a nonprofit organization that specializes in giving assistance to food pantries in San Francisco area.
To give your nonprofit organization a bigger chance on getting a grant for your cause, you may want to use the FoundationCenter.org that connects both grant givers and grant seekers. The site has a big database of many organizations and foundations that offer grants. The downside of it is that you have to subscribe using a small amount of money to use the site. However, considering the extent of information you’re getting; the subscription fee is very cheap.
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- Grants Gov : grants.gov/
- Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance : cfda.gov/
- Foundation Center : foundationcenter.org/
- Images: palmbeachpost.com, wisegeek.com