MFT is now accepting applications for a community food grant program that provides small grants for food sustainability on the Blue Hill Peninsula.
MFT has administered the grant program for several years, and is inspired by the numerous and creative proposals that address local food security and community sustainability. The grant committee looks for projects or programs intended to increase food sustainability and improve the health and well-being of Blue Hill Peninsula residents. In addition to meeting these goals, successful applications will be those that place an emphasis on creating a more just and sustainable local food system through food production, education or related projects. High priority is placed on projects that can also demonstrate benefit to the community, such as this project from the 2013 grant cycle:
In spring of 2013, Laura Livingston received a grant to purchase a poultry plucker and scalder. Her plan was to make the equipment available to anyone raising poultry on the peninsula, for free. The plucker and scalder fit neatly into the back of a pick-up truck, and were easily carted from farm to farm, where Laura would set up shop to help process poultry. In exchange, she sometimes got a few birds for her own freezer, but the real value for her has been the opportunity to connect with local farmers and homesteaders who are interested in raising poultry on a small scale. Before long, Laura became known as “the lady with the chicken equipment,” and has loaned her equipment to 8 farms in Blue Hill, Brooksville, Brooklin, and Penobscot, and processed a total of 495 birds. The availability of her equipment means that small operations are able to process birds efficiently and inexpensively on-site.
Applicants can apply to receive grants of up to $3,000, which will be awarded based on the merits of the proposal and the likelihood of project completion.
For 2014, a single, $10,000 grant award is also available for a project that can help meet a larger scale community food need. The definition of “community food need” is quite flexible, and may include infrastructure projects such as a grain silo or mobile butchering unit, or smaller-scale projects that will impact a significantly large number of people in the community. The review committee will weigh the community impact of a proposed project most heavily when considering proposals for this $10,000 infrastructure grant.
Grants are available for nonprofit organizations, schools, community groups, or individuals. Projects or programs must be carried out in the towns of Blue Hill, Sedgwick, Penobscot, Castine, Orland, Surry, Deer Isle, Stonington, Brooksville, or Brooklin.
The deadline for applications is Sunday, February 23, 2014 at midnight. Decisions and grant awards will be made by March 21, 2014. To download the application, follow this link: http://www.mainefarmlandtrust.org/program-areas/farm-viability/community-food-grant/
Questions? Contact Erica Buswell at email@example.com OR call 207.338.6575