Local Foods

Johnson County is accepting applications for the third Community Food and Farm Grant cycle beginning on Friday, Mar. 15, 2024. Applications will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Apr. 12, 2024.  

Johnson County will award up to $350,000 total in the third 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, Apr. 12, 2024. A review committee made up of Local Food staff and Food Policy Council members will evaluate applications and then meet to discuss a funding recommendation. Funding recommendations made by the review committee will have final approval from the Johnson County Board of Supervisors. Application evaluation criteria can be found on the grant website.   

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

Community Food and Farm Grant Application Clinics: 

  • Wednesday, Mar. 20 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Zoom. Arabic, French, and Spanish interpretations will be available. Access the zoom link or watch the recorded session afterwards at www.johnsoncountyiowa.gov/localfoods/grant.
  • Thursday, Mar. 21 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Dream City, 611 Southgate Ave., Iowa City, in partnership with Emprendimiento Latino 5M. Spanish interpretation will be available. Snacks and childcare provided. 
  • Wednesday, Mar. 27 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Center for Worker Justice, 1556 S 1st Ave #C, Iowa City. Arabic and French interpretations will be available. Dinner and childcare provided.

Community Food and Farm Grant 1-on-1 Grant Writing Support: 

Grant writing coach, Sarah Blais, from Empowered Solutions Collective will host three informal office hours where applicants can drop in to receive support.

  • Thursday, April 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Coralville Public Library Cafe (1401 5th St., Coralville).
  • Friday, April 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Center for Worker Justice (1556 S 1st Ave # C, Iowa City) Arabic interpretation will be available.
  • Sunday, April 7 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Iowa City Public Library Meeting Room B (123 S. Linn St., Iowa City). Spanish interpretation will be available.


For more information, contact Johnson County Local Food 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.