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Fresh Food Access Fund

Images of Fresh Food
Photo Credit Clockwise from top left: Riverwest Gardeners Market, Guest House of Milwaukee, Richard M. Glaser, Mark Hoffman, Home GR/OWN, Fondy Food Market

Fresh Food Access Fund 2021 *APPLICATIONS HAVE CLOSED FOR 2021 CYCLE*

The City of Milwaukee is excited to announce a new round of grant funding for 2021 focusing on healthy food access in our communities. The Fresh Food Access Fund (FFAF) provides financial support to activities that increase fresh food access and healthy food choices in underserved communities that have been further impacted due to the pandemic. FFAF is available to for-profit and not-for-profit businesses aligned with the goal of the fund.

FFAF program guidelines for eligible programs and projects are now available at the following link: Fresh Food Access Fund 2021 Guidelines.

Applications opened March 8th, 2021. The application deadline of April 5th, 2021 at 4 pm CST has passed. We are no longer accepting any new applications.

 

Information Session Recordings

The City held two virtual informational meetings in regard to the RFP. The first was held on March 10, 2021 over GoToWebinar and the second was held on March 11, 2021. The meetings included an overview of the initiative and opportunities to ask questions. If you were unable to attend, you can click on the following links to view recordings of both sessions:

Technical Assistance for Applicants *NEW*

Representatives from the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Milwaukee County and the American Heart Association have partnered with the City to assist individuals and organizations applying for the FFAF program.

Our partners aim is to strengthen the program impact and evaluation efforts. They will strive to strengthen your idea and application, provide recommendations on evaluation, and connect you to other partners involved in similar work.

If you would like to spend 20 minutes talking with a technical assistance partner about your application and/or grant idea, please use the following link to sign up. There may be the ability to add additional slots as demand necessitates, but sign up quickly to make sure you can receive assistance! Please note, only several dates and times over the next several weeks are available, and only the available times will be options when booking. The available dates (March 23, March 29, March 30, April 5) will highlight with a BLUE circle on the following calendar. From there, choose a time slot.

Click here to Schedule FFAF Technical Assistance.

Clarification statement regarding grant matching:

FFAF grants may cover up to 50% of the cash expenditure required to implement a project. A cash match must be provided by the applicant to cover the expenses not paid by the grant. While a project may include in-kind donations of various kinds, only the cash expenditures involved in the project will be considered when calculating the amount of an FFAF grant.

 

FFAF Application Instructions

To respond to this RFP, complete the FFAF Application, and submit required additional documents listed in the application.

Applicants must create a username and password to access the form, and they will be able to save progress on the form and return later to continue completing the application.

All grant applications and associated materials were due on 4:00 pm CST on Monday, April 5, 2021. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Staff will notify applicants with the final decisions. All applications and supporting materials will only be accepted through the link above.

Additional Information

For additional background information regarding fresh food access in Milwaukee, click the link below to read the 2019 Milwaukee Fresh Food Access Report:

Fresh Food Access

Questions and Answers

  • Question: Do you have a sample of the application?  
  • Answer: The Fresh Food Access Fund RFP/Guidelines and Application can be accessed on this website.
  • Question: What is the turnaround time?  (Timeline for the selection of recipients, fund distribution, and project completion) 
  • Answer: The timeline for the Fresh Food Access Fund can be found in the RFP/Guidelines document at the above link.
  • Question: Is a funding match required? (If so, how much?)
  • Answer: Yes. FFAF grants may cover up to 50% of the expenditure required to implement a project. A financial match must be provided by the applicant to cover the expenses not paid by the grant. An in-kind match is not allowed as a match for the FFAF grant program; i.e. staff time. Copies of all paid invoices for the work covered by the FFAF grant must be submitted. These must equal at least the required matching amount. All project expenditures must be paid by check, money order or credit card.
  • Question: Do you have a link to the recording of the informational session that you could share with me?
  • Answer: The recordings of the two information sessions are now available at the above link.
     
  • Question: If I want to apply for a grant for capital assistance and for educational activities on 1 project, should I submit 2 applications or should I combine both ideas into one application?
  • Answer: If an applicant is attempting to receive more than the maximum grant amount for any given category, they would need to submit separate applications.

Questions and Answers from the January 30, 2020 Information Session

  • Q1: Can in-kind match (e.g. staff, etc.) be used as the match for this grant?
  • A1: FFAF grants may cover up to 50% of the cash expenditure required to implement a project, subject to the grant limits on page 3 of the RFP. A cash match must be provided by the applicant to cover the expenses not paid by the grant.
  • Q2: I am a consultant. Can I be a nutritional consultant for multiple different grant applications/agreements?
  • A2: Yes
  • Q3: The RFP/Application requires submittal of corporate papers. If I am a sole proprietor, what am I supposed to submit?
  • A3: You can submit a W-9 with either your Social Security Number (SS#) or your Employer Identification Number (EIN #).
  • Q4: Can you submit grant applications for both the Capital grant and an Education grant?
  • A4: An organization may submit multiple proposals. If each project is a stand-alone project, submit a separate application for each. If the organization proposes a project that has closely-related education and capital components, and those components will proceed only if both components receive a grant, submit a single application that describes both components and how they work together. List capital project expenses on the “capital project expenditure plan” table. List education expenses on the “education project expenditure plan” table. The maximum size of such a grant would be $55,000, subject to the match requirements.
  • Q5: What is the total amount of funding for the FFAF?
  • A5: $400,000.00
  • Q6: Can a capital asset (e.g. building) be used as a grant match for this grant?
  • A6: FFAF grants may cover up to 50% of the cash expenditure required to implement a project, subject to the grant limits on page 3 of the RFP. A cash match must be provided by the applicant to cover the expenses not paid by the grant.
  • Q7: With the funding for the whole project at $400,000 what is the total amount of projects do you anticipate from the FFAF? How much of the total grant funds must be used in 2020?
  • A7: The number of applications that will be approved depends on the quality of the applications/projects that are received. If there are not enough quality candidates to award the entire fund, the City will hold another application round at a future date.
  • Q8: What is the time limit for reimbursement of grant funds?
  • A8: This will be negotiated as part of the grant agreement for successful applicants.
  • Q9: When do funds become available in the process?
  • A9: This will be negotiated as part of the grant agreement for successful applicants.
  • Q10: Are there any geographical requirements for the FFAF?
  • A10: Only projects inside the City of Milwaukee are eligible.
  • Q11: For the education grant, can the funds be used for operating costs rather than capital costs. For example, can the funds be used for materials such as seeds?
  • A11: Please see the examples of eligible expenses on page 2 of the RFP.
  • Q12: Can the capital grant funds be used for the development of a building to be made ready for a food store? Like a turnkey project for an anchor tenant?
  • A12: Please see the examples of eligible expenses and projects on page 2 of the RFP.
  • Q13: Can grant funds be used to be paid for utilities (e.g. water, electricity), for projects, such as a hydroponics project?
  • A13: No. Please see the examples of eligible expenses and projects on page 2 of the RFP.
  • Q14: What are the weighted criteria that will be used to evaluate the grant applications?
  • A14: Please see page 4 of the RFP, section “Grant Selection Criteria”.
  • Q15: What if the project does not fit specifically under the Capital grant or an Educational grant?
  • A15: An organization may submit multiple proposals. If each project stands alone, submit a separate application for each. If the organization proposes a project that has closely-related education and capital components, and those components will proceed only if both components receive a grant, submit a single application that describes both components and how they work together. List capital project expenses on the “capital project expenditure plan” table. List education expenses on the “education project expenditure plan” table. The maximum size of such a grant would be $55,000, subject to the match requirements.
  • Q16: Can a Food Pantry project work under the FFAF? It would provide access to fresh food and have a kitchen that could provide prepared food.
  • : No matter the application, the grant application must indicate specific expenditures for Capital or Education programs related to the applicant’s project. Please see the examples of eligible expenses and projects on page 2 of the RFP.
  • Q17: Can you submit multiple applications for multiple grants?
  • A17: An organization may submit multiple proposals. If each project stands alone, submit a separate application for each. If the organization proposes a project that has closely-related education and capital components, and those components will proceed only if both components receive a grant, submit a single application that describes both components and how they work together. List capital project expenses on the “capital project expenditure plan” table. List education expenses on the “education project expenditure plan” table. The maximum size of such a grant would be $55,000, subject to the match requirements.
  • Q18: Can seeds qualify as a match?
  • A18: FFAF grants may cover up to 50% of the cash expenditure required to implement a project, subject to the grant limits on page 3 of the RFP. A cash match must be provided by the applicant to cover the expenses not paid by the grant.
  • Q19: Is there a specified number/quota designated to award to for-profit business vs. not-for-profit businesses?
  • A19: No

 

Questions and Answers from the February 6, 2020 Information Session

  • Q1: What efforts have been made in regarding to community engagement to get the word out in regard to the FFAF program?
  • A1: The Request for Proposals and Grant Application was posted on the City’s website at https://city.milwaukee.gov/ffaf. A pre-release e-notify was sent on 1/17/20. An e-notify was sent out on 1/30/20 giving notice that the FFAF RFP and application had been posted. An e-notify was sent out 2/5/20 as a reminder of the informational session on 2/6/20. Close to 6,000 combined e-mails were sent for each of the aforementioned e-notifys, via DCD and the 30th Street Industrial Corridor. Also, information about the FFAF is now on the City’s main website page (listed first) under the “What’s New” section. Information has also been posted on social media on the DCD Facebook page and Twitter. The Health Department also agreed to provide information about the FFAF on their Facebook pages. There have also been 2 public information sessions about FFAF.
  • Q2: Can the 50% match be an in-kind gift or other grant from a third party?
  • A2: FFAF grants may cover up to 50% of the cash expenditure required to implement a project, subject to the grant limits on page 3 of the RFP. A cash match must be provided by the applicant to cover the expenses not paid by the grant. A third-party cash grant or cash gift would be acceptable as a cash match.
  • Q3: What is the timing of the grant funds being distributed - the 50% match? Do you have to have enough of your own money to complete the project?
  • : Information about the distribution of grant funds is found on page 3 of the RFP, in the “grant types and amounts” section. Awardees will enter into a grant agreement that will specify the time table for grant payment.
  • Q4: The RFP says that proposals will be reviewed monthly. Is this an ongoing review or proposals?
  • A4: The RFP does not indicate that proposals will be accepted on a routine/monthly basis. All of the proposals are due on 2/28/20. The number of applications that will be approved depends on the quality of the applications/projects that are received. If there are not enough quality candidates to award the entire fund, the City will hold another application round at a future date.
  • Q5: I am a Dietician/Consultant seeking funds for nutritional education and am interested in collaborating with parties interested in submitting applications. Do I have to already be partnered with the other party in order to apply?
  • A5: The application needs to include the complete program.
  • Q6: What resources are available to the Hmong Community with help in regard to the English language barrier?
  • A6: We recommend contacting the Hmong American Friendship Association for assistance. Zong Sae Vang or Lang Xiong can assist and can be reached by phone at (414) 344-6575 or email at general@hmongfriendship.org.
  • Q7: If you are applying for a Capital Grant but there’s also an Educational piece to the Capital Grant can you include both in the same application?
  • A7: An organization may submit multiple proposals. If each project stands alone, submit a separate application for each. If the organization proposes a project that has closely-related education and capital components, and those components will proceed only if both components receive a grant, submit a single application that describes both components and how they work together. List capital project expenses on the “capital project expenditure plan” table. List education expenses on the “education project expenditure plan” table. The maximum size of such a grant would be $55,000, subject to the match requirements.
  • Q8: What is the total amount of the funds available?
  • A8: $400,000.00
  • Q9: Can the match be an in-kind match (i.e. staff times)?
  • : FFAF grants may cover up to 50% of the cash expenditure required to implement a project, subject to the grant limits on page 3 of the RFP. A cash match must be provided by the applicant to cover the expenses not paid by the grant. A third-party cash grant or cash gift would be acceptable as a cash match.
  • Q10: Can in-kind donations count? For instance, if you receive donated seeds, can this be added to the fund sources?
  • A10: FFAF grants may cover up to 50% of the cash expenditure required to implement a project, subject to the grant limits on page 3 of the RFP. A cash match must be provided by the applicant to cover the expenses not paid by the grant. A third-party cash grant or cash gift would be acceptable as a cash match.
  • Q11: Can a kitchen that‘s part of an existing restaurant apply for a grant if they are providing fresh food to an underserved market?
  • A11: You can submit an application and it will be evaluated. Be sure to explain how the expenditure of the grant improves the restaurant’s capacity to get fresh food into the community.
  • Q12: Are there any private banks/lending institutions available to help those that submit applications for grants under the FFAF?
  • A12: No. It is up to the applicant to obtain any type of funding.
  • Q13: Would marketing/outreach materials be something that would be an allowable cost under the grant? Probably more likely under an Educational Grant then a Capital Grant.
  • A13: See page 2 of the RFP for examples of eligible expenditures.
  • Q14: For any licenses requirements, can the Department of City Development (DCD) help with that?
  • A14: Getting the licenses is the applicant’s responsibility. Anyone needing a license should go to the City’s website https://city.milwaukee.gov (search for “Red Tape Rescue” and/or “License”). There would be information there that would be helpful in obtaining the appropriate license.
  • Q15: Are grant awards limited geographically?
  • A15: Awards will be made only for projects in the City of Milwaukee
  • Q16: As for the City of Milwaukee location requirement, in the case of a farmer’s market, what if the market is in the City, but the produce is grown in areas outside of the City? Would that be ok?
  • A16: The location of the farmer’s market within the city would meet the geographic eligibility requirement.
  • A17: As a dietician seeking funds for nutritional education who wants to collaborate on a project, should I submit my own application or as part of a separate application?
  • A17: It should be all as one application. The application needs to include the complete program.
  • Q18: Is it possible to have the power point presentation from today be posted on the website?
  • A18: While the power point presentation is not posted, all material covered in the power point presentation can be found on the website: https://city.milwaukee.gov/ffaf

Email Questions and Answers – Posted 2/14/20

  • Q1: I attended the program on the FFAF process yesterday. Many of us had questions about "matching" the grant and what would qualify. The presenters did not have answers and I am not sure if we have to wait until the 18th to get this answered. It will be difficult to write a proposal without guidelines. This is a creative and challenging opportunity.
  • A1: FFAF grants may cover up to 50% of the cash expenditure required to implement a project, subject to the grant limits on page 3 of the RFP. A cash match must be provided by the applicant to cover the expenses not paid by the grant.
  • Q2: Is a school/school district eligible to apply for either grant since we do not have 501(3)c status but contributions may be considered tax deductible under Section 170 (c)(1)?
  • A2: Yes, a school district would be eligible to apply
  • Q3: If a school/school district is eligible, is it recommended to only apply for one of the grants, either Capital grant or Education program grant or can an organization apply for both?
  • A3: An organization may submit multiple proposals. If each project stands alone, submit a separate application for each. If the organization proposes a project that has closely-related education and capital components, and those components will proceed only if both components receive a grant, submit a single application that describes both components and how they work together. List capital project expenses on the “capital project expenditure plan” table. List education expenses on the “education project expenditure plan” table. The maximum size of such a grant would be $55,000, subject to the match requirements.
  • Q4: One of our ideas for the capital grant is to restore a green house in a school building so that it can be used for nutrition and food preparation education. Your thoughts?
  • A4: This concept appears to meet the definition of a capital project.
  • Q5:I have a question related to “Eligible Uses of Fresh Food Access Fund Grant”. The second category is “Education Programs for Consumers”. Our organization is working with food entrepreneurs and food businesses. Would Education programs for food entrepreneurs qualify? Our whole on-ramping system get food entrepreneurs “business ready” is quite intentional and includes many educational components.
  • A5: Any such application would need to clearly identify the way in which the proposed education project increases access to fresh food for consumers
  • Q6: Will application scoring be available for all grantees to see?
  • A6: Yes
  • Q7: If so, how soon after the awards, will that be available?
  • A7: Once all final awards are made and all Grant Agreements have been signed, scoring would be made available.
  • Q8: Will scoring results be available by individual scorer or as a composite score?
  • A8: Composite Score
  • Q9: When submitting the PDF, do you prefer that the application and all supplemental materials be one large PDF file or would you prefer the application and each additional item -- i.e. IRS determination letter, W-9, etc. – be its own PDF.
  • A9: One large file would work, but if a candidate is having trouble sending a large file via email then please separate the items.
  • Q10: How will project end date be set related to expense reimbursement?
  • : Information about the distribution of grant funds is found on page 3 of the RFP, in the “grant types and amounts” section. Awardees will enter into a grant agreement that will specify that the time table for grant payment and provide more detail about the documentation that must be presented for reimbursement.
  • Q11: Under Project Financing Plan it asks for Total Project Funding. Is this the total of the grant plus matching funds only, or is it asking for the more comprehensive total of the larger project of which the grant and matching funds are a subset?
  • A11: The "total funding" relates to the total cash that will be required to implement the fresh food access project for which a grant is sought. The FFAF may account for no more than half of the actual dollar expenditure for the project, subject to the grant limits that are listed on page 3 of the RFP. Depending on the total cash needed for the project, the FFAF grant may be much less than half the total expenditures of the project.
  •  

Email Questions and Answers – Posted 2/20/20

  • Q1: Under the "Project Financing Plan" it states that "The total project financing cannot exceed 50% of the FFAF grant amount." I'm curious if this is worded incorrectly or actually the case. Usually, grants specify that a grant award itself cannot be more than 50% of the total project, not the other way around. Funders don't usually want to be responsible for more than 50% of a project and instead want to see that you have other funding streams in place for the rest. I had assumed that was how this grant would be and unsure if you actually would need to be contributing 50% or more of every project?
  • A1: The FFAF grant amount cannot exceed 50% of the total project financing. The wording under this section was incorrect. The language in the application form has been updated to reflect this correction.
  • Q2: On the application form, where we enter text, I have noticed that the "enter" button on the computer is not active on the form. It all comes out as one big box of text without being able to create separate paragraphs within one text box
  • A2: The form has been updated to allow carriage returns (multiple paragraphs).
  • Q3: Can prepared foods sold for carryout or sit down be considered "healthy and fresh" foods as defined in the grant RFP?
  • A3: Yes
  • Q4: For capital grants, are soft costs (i.e. design-planning, marketing, legal, etc.) eligible if they are explicitly geared towards a project support the FFA goals?
  • A4: Yes
  • Q5: What is the difference between "Space Build-Out" and "Exterior Improvements” within the cost chart?
  • A5: Space buildout refers to renovation of interior space. Exterior improvements refers to renovation of the exterior of the building.
  • Q6: Can the capital grant be less than $10,000 minimum?
  • A6: Please see page 3 of the request for proposals. The minimum capital grant is $10,000, with a minimum project budget of $20,000.
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