BLOOMINGTON – The City of Bloomington Economic and Sustainable Development (ESD) Department invites local organizations to apply for City funding to increase economically disadvantaged residents’ access to healthy, fresh, and affordable foods.
The 2021 Local Food Mini-Grant program is designed to create quick and simple access to funding for organizations that are already working in food insecurity and may support a range of activities in service of food access. Funded through the ESD operational budget to address financial food insecurity and improve local food access (per Climate Action Plan Strategy FA 1-A), the 2021 program offers to fund up to $2,500 per organization.
Applications for Local Food Mini-Grants from nonprofit, for-profit, and other organizations will be accepted until Friday, November 12 at 5 p.m. at https://bloomington.in.gov/sustainability, with awards announced December 3.
Applications will be evaluated according to organizational capacity and related experience; community impact and partnerships; diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts; and ability of the project to address the barriers to food access low-income residents most frequently identified in a 2021 Bloomington food access report: high food costs and limited transportation access to stores and other places offering fresh and local food.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the food insecurity of vulnerable populations across the country. The national food bank network Feeding America projects that 42 million people (1 in 8), including 13 million children (1 in 6), may experience food insecurity in 2021 and notes that rates are higher for Black, Latinx, and Native American individuals. According to the Climate Action Plan, the Bloomington Food Policy Council identified numerous Bloomington neighborhoods as at risk for food insecurity. Food insecurity continued to grow in the face of pandemic-related economic challenges with thousands of meals served every week from direct service providers in 2020.
An action supporting sustainability and equity, the Local Food Mini-Grant Program aligns with Mayor John Hamilton’s Recover Forward initiative, to rebuild Bloomington in a way that more thoroughly embodies our community’s goals for racial equity, a sustainable and resilient economy, and climate action.
Prospective applicants may send questions to Lauren Clemens or Jane Kupersmith at firstname.lastname@example.org.