$3 million in grants for home gardening

Wednesday, August 24, 2022 By press release

HDOA press release

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) is now accepting applications for the second year of the Micro-Grants for Food Security Program (MGFSP), which provides support for gardening, ranching, and animal husbandry operations. on a small scale to help produce food in areas that are food insecure.

A total of $3 million will be available in this program, which includes $2 million for this year’s grant funds combined with $1 million that was carried over from the previous year. Last year, a total of 177 grants were awarded statewide. Funding for this grant program is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the 2018 Farm Bill.

The maximum reward per household is $5,000. Due to the high level of interest from individuals, organizations will not be eligible for this year’s MGFSP program. The online application form and program information is available on the HDOA Market Development Branch website at hdoa.hawaii.gov/add/md/. The deadline to apply is September 19 at noon.

To be eligible, applicants must be a Hawaii resident, 18 years of age or older, and head of household; and the household has not received a previous MGFSP grant.

Consideration will be based on the project description, the number of recipients and whether the applicant has received a scholarship under the previous program. Consideration will also be given to the level of food security in the household location, as indicated on the Food Insecurity Index, calculated by the Conduent Healthy Communities Institute using data from Claritas, 2021. index, which maps food insecurity by postal code, can be found at hawaiihealthmatters.org/indexsuite/index/foodinsecurity.

“Since the department attracted great interest last year from home gardeners and small-scale farmers, the department has streamlined the application process and will focus on supporting households so they can grow their own food. for their family,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chairman of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture.

The following are examples of the types of activities that may be funded under this grant:

  • Small-scale gardening – buying tools or equipment, soil, seeds, plants, canning equipment, refrigeration, composting equipment, towers, hydroponic and aeroponic agriculture.
  • Small-scale livestock and ranching operations – buying animals, buying, erecting or repairing livestock fences.

To help interested parties with the application process, a Zoom webinar was held on August 24 and a recording will be posted on the HDOA website.

Questions regarding the application process may be directed to HDOA’s Market Development Department at (808) 973-9595 or via email [email protected].

Terri S. Tomasini