USDA Grant Program >

USDA’s Hunger Free Communities grant program was created to provide public funding for comprehensive and collaborative efforts to end hunger at the community level.  The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (also known as the 2008 Farm Bill), authorized $5 million in funding for Hunger-Free Communities grants.  These funds were later appropriated for Fiscal Year 2010.

In announcing the grants, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack spoke to the importance of community-based efforts to end hunger. “Hunger is a problem that the American sense of fairness should not tolerate and American ingenuity can overcome,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Through these new Hunger-Free Community grants, our strong partnerships at the National, State and local levels will be pivotal in providing better access to food and a more healthful diet for our Nation’s most vulnerable.”

Through the Hunger-Free Communities Grants, the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeks to identify new strategies or combinations of strategies that support the creation of Hunger-Free Communities by helping fund research, planning, and hunger relief activities including but not limited to: food distribution, community outreach, initiatives that improve access to food, and the development of new resources and strategies to reduce or prevent hunger and food insecurity.

Applications for these grants were solicited in the fall of 2010, and awardees were announced in early 2011.  USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service will solicit future applications for Hunger Free Communities grants if Congress makes additional funding for these grants available.

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the child nutrition programs, that touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of the year. These programs work in concert to form a national safety net against hunger.