Local Foods

Johnson County is accepting applications for the second Community Food and Farm Grant cycle beginning on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. Applications will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023.  

Johnson County will award up to $200,000 total in the second Community Food and Farm Grant cycle. 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 COVID-19 pandemic impacted small farms, small food businesses, and households, affecting how food is grown, sold, and accessed. In response to these impacts on the local food system, Johnson County created the Community Food and Farm Grant. Through this grant, eligible entities can request $1,000 to $25,000 to fund projects that meet at least one of the following goals: 

  • Farm and food businesses grow, process, cook, or distribute more community-based food 
  • Farm and food business workers and/or entrepreneurs develop skills to improve their businesses through education and technical assistance 
  • Low-income communities have more opportunities to access community-based food 

Eligible entities include 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.  

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 by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023. Johnson County staff and a committee of Food Policy Council members will review and evaluate grant applications based on criteria that include grant goals alignment, project impact, and project readiness.   

Johnson County will partner with community organizations to host several opportunities for interested applicants to learn more about the grant and receive technical assistance. Individuals who need specific accommodations should contact Johnson County Local Foods staff at [email protected].

Community Food and Farm Grant: Business Plan and Budgeting Workshops, hosted by Emprendimiento Latino 5M and South of 6 Business District: 

  • Dream City, 611 Southgate Ave., Iowa City, on Friday, Sept. 29. One workshop will be held in English from 1 to 3 p.m., and one workshop will be held in Spanish from 5 to 7 p.m. 

Community Food and Farm Grant application clinics: 

  • Online via Zoom from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 2. Arabic, French, and Spanish interpretation will be available. The clinic will be recorded and posted online.  
  • Center for Worker Justice, 1556 S 1st Ave #C, Iowa City, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5. Arabic, French, and Spanish interpretation will be available. 
  • Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St., Iowa City, in partnership with the Multicultural Development Center of Iowa, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11. 

For more information, go to www.johnsoncountyiowa.gov/localfoods/grant contact Johnson County Local Foods staff at [email protected] or 319-688-5840. 

More information about ARPA and how it impacts Johnson County is available at https://www.johnsoncountyiowa.gov/arpa.