The Johnson County Community Food and Farm Grant application opened today, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. Applications will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022.
The Board of Supervisors voted on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, to approve the establishment, eligibility, selection and requirements for the Community Food and Farm Grant. Funding for this grant is a result of Johnson County’s investment of funds received from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The Board of Supervisors allocated $200,000 to support local food initiatives to increase food security. Up to $100,000 has been allocated for the first grant cycle, which runs through Dec. 31, 2023.
Johnson County recognizes that COVID-19 had broad impacts on the county’s community-based food system. Small food and farm businesses faced negative economic impacts such as increased costs, loss of market channels, and decreased revenue. Residents also faced economic impacts that affected their ability to access food, leading to increased rates of food insecurity.
In response to these impacts, the grant program seeks to increase community-based food production, processing and distribution capacity to strengthen food security in Johnson County. The grant is available to small farm and food businesses, nonprofits and individuals who produce, process or distribute community-based food for consumption in Johnson County, or enable these activities. Entities must also meet additional requirements that are available at www.johnsoncountyiowa.gov/localfoods/grant. Johnson County may award $1,000 to $25,000 for each eligible and approved project.
The amount of funds requested could exceed the amount available. Johnson County staff and a committee of Food Policy Council members will complete an evaluation of each grant application based on criteria that includes grant goals alignment, project impact and project readiness.
Full grant details and applications are available online at www.johnsoncountyiowa.gov/localfoods/grant in English, Spanish, Arabic and French. Applications must be submitted online. Johnson County plans to host application clinics and provide application assistance to those who need it.
For more information, contact Johnson County Local Foods staff at [email protected] or 319-688-5840.
Johnson County is committed to utilizing ARPA to enhance investments in public services and maximize the impacts of our local fiscal recovery allocation. The County's ARPA Leadership Team has been working since February 2021 to research and discuss the many aspects of this funding. Johnson County solicited public input from May to October 2021 using a series of online surveys and tools as well as six in-person public input sessions that were held throughout the County.
More information about ARPA and how it impacts Johnson County is available at https://www.johnsoncountyiowa.gov/arpa.