The Minnesota Department of Education this week announced that it will award $9.5 million in grant funds to organizations providing meals to children, families and adults experiencing increased food insecurity as a result of COVID-19.
The state received the funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF). Minnesota nonprofits (including faith-based organizations), educational institutions (e.g., early care, K-12 school districts, higher education), Tribal Nations and local governmental units are eligible to apply for the grants.
“Increasing access to nutritious meals is a foundational part of creating a more equitable Minnesota,” said Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker. “I appreciate the ongoing efforts of our schools, nonprofits, Tribal Nations and local governments coming together to meet the needs of our communities.”
These grants are intended to supplement existing funds in order to enhance the grantee’s capacity to meet the increased demand for meals. Projects may address needs on a statewide, regional or local level. Grant award amounts will vary depending upon the size and quantity of grant applications received. The maximum grant award may not exceed $1,000,000; the minimum amount an applicant may request is $25,000. Eligible expenditures include food purchases, transportation costs, supplies for meal distribution, supplies to follow public health guidelines, and salaries of staff managing food operation activities. The CRF cannot be used to fill behind lost revenues or pay for expenditures that will be reimbursed under another federal program.
The term of the grant period is Sept. 1, 2020, through Dec. 30, 2020. However, awards may be applied retroactively to July 1, 2020, to cover eligible expenses that meet reimbursement guidelines.
The Request for Proposal can be accessed on the Minnesota Department of Education Competitive Grant Opportunities webpage.
Applications must be submitted by July 20, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. Central Time.
Applicants with questions should submit them to Jackie Stiehl by July 9, 2020, using “Expanded Meal Access Grant Question” in the subject line. A question and answer document will be published on the grant opportunity site after July 13, 2020.