Grant Search Databases
- Grants.gov: Portal through which to search for federal grant opportunities.
- Healthy Food Access Portal: Search by State is an interactive tool that can be used to find resources and information about funding opportunities and policy efforts organized by state.
- Illinois Department of Agriculture: A variety of state and federal grant programs are available that benefit rural residents, farmers, communities, and other groups.
- Illinois Department of Natural Resources: Open to local governments, educators, and nonprofits.
- Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Research Institute (SARE): Advances profitable and environmentally sound farming systems that are good for communities through a nationwide research and education grants program.
- Local Food Systems and Small Farms Grant Opportunities, University of Illinois Extension: List of state and federal grant opportunities for growers and producers.
Grants For Nonprofits/Community Projects
Foundations and Other Funders
- Lake County Community Food Systems Micro-grant Program: A Liberty Prairie Foundation grant program that supports projects that are using food as a catalyst for change, whether by relief efforts, entrepreneurial opportunities, education, and more. Nonprofits, schools and government entities are eligible.
- Aetna Foundation Healthy Eating and Active Living Grant: Funds community groups that are advancing healthy eating and active living in homes, schools, and neighborhoods by connecting people of limited means with fresh fruits and vegetables through community gardens, urban farms, and farmers markets.
- Corona Cares: Provides quality garden and landscape tools to support community organizations in need.
- Farm Aid Grants for Nonprofit Organizations: Grantmaking is focused on work that enhances the viability of family farm agriculture in the U.S.
- Home Depot Community Impact Grant: Grants provided to organizations using volunteer power to improve the community.
- Kresge Foundation FreshLo Initiative: Funds neighborhood-scale projects demonstrating creative, cross-sector visions of food-oriented development.
- Surdna Foundation, Regional Food Supply: Supports efforts to restore regional aggregation and distribution of food that will strengthen urban and rural connections and provide environmental, economic, and community benefits.
- Transporting Healthy Food Grant, Conservation Fund and CSX: Provides grants ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 to help alleviate the transportation and related operation gaps that organizations face in distributing fresh food to markets in vulnerable and underserved populations.
State and Federal Grants
- Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program: Supports projects that incentivize the purchase of fruits and vegetables by SNAP clients.
- USDA Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program (BFRDP): Funds projects that develop and offer education, training, outreach, and mentoring programs to enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers.
- USDA Community Food Projects (CFP) Competitive Grants Program: Federal USDA grant for projects that assist low-income individuals and communities in developing local and self-reliant food systems.
- USDA Farm Business Management and Benchmarking (FBMB) Competitive Grants Program: Provides funds to improve the farm management knowledge and skills of agricultural producers; and establish and maintain a national, publicly available farm financial management database to support improved farm management.
- USDA Local Food Promotion Program: Grants are used to establish a new local and regional food business enterprise, or to improve or expand an existing local or regional food business enterprise.
- USDA Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (2501 Program): Supports projects that enhance the coordination of outreach, technical assistance, and education efforts to reach socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners in a linguistically appropriate manner and to improve their participation in the full range of USDA programs.
Grants For Schools
- Lake County Farm Bureau Agriculture in the Classroom: Offers grants of up to $250 to K-12 teachers across the county to fund projects promoting agricultural literacy in the classroom.
- Annie’s Grants for Gardens: Supports new and existing school garden programs.
- Illinois School Yard Habitat Action Grant Program: Illinois Department of Natural Resources grant that supports schools engaging in conservation efforts.
- Whole Kids Foundation Garden Grant Program: Supports edible educational gardens located at a school or nonprofit organization.
- Chef Ann Foundation Project Produce: Provides schools funds to spend on fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole ingredients used in scratch-cooked recipes.
- Salad Bars to Schools Grant: Donates salad bars to schools so that every child in the nation has daily access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
- USDA Farm to School Grant: Supports efforts that improve access to local foods in schools. Funds are made available on a competitive basis, subject to availability of federal funds.
Grants For Farmers
State and Federal Grants
- Illinois Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Grants: Supports projects that are intended to expand the availability of fresh, locally grown produce and strengthen the competitiveness of the state’s specialty crop industry.
- Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE): Advances profitable and environmentally sound farming systems.
- USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program: Funds projects that increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations.
- USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Organic Transitions Grant: Supports the development and implementation of research, extension, and higher education programs to improve the competitiveness of organic livestock and crop producers, as well as those who are adopting organic practices.
- USDA NRCS Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP): Provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits.
- USDA NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQUIP): Provides agricultural producers with financial resources and one-on-one help to plan and implement improvements and conservation practices.
- USDA Organic Certification Cost Share Program: Provides federal reimbursement through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to assist with the cost of receiving and maintaining organic certification.
- USDA Value Added Producer Grant: Helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of new products.
- FSA Farm Storage Facility Loan Program: Provides low-interest financing so producers can build or upgrade facilities to store commodities.
- FSA Guaranteed Farm Loan Program: Helps family farmers and ranchers to obtain loans from USDA-approved commercial lenders at reasonable terms to buy farmland or finance agricultural production.
- FSA EZ Guarantee Program: Available for smaller loans; provides a simplified Guaranteed Loan application process to help small, new, or underserved family farmers with early financial assistance.
- FSA Microloans: Finances needs of small, beginning farmer, niche and non-traditional farm operations, such as truck farms, farms participating in direct marketing and sales such as farmers’ markets, CSAs, restaurants, and grocery stores, or those using hydroponic, aquaponic, organic, and vertical growing methods.
- Illinois Dept. of Treasury Ag Invest Loans: The Illinois Treasury partners with approved financial institutions to provide qualified farmers and agriculture professionals below market rate loans to start, expand, or add value to their farm operations.
- Rural Energy for America Program (REAP): Provides grants and loans to farmers and businesses for energy efficiency improvements and purchase of wind, solar or other renewable energy systems, and also provides grants to help farmers with energy audits and renewable energy development.
Foundations and Other Funders
- Food Animal Concern Trust Fund-A-Farmer Project: Provides grants to farmers for projects that improve animal welfare.
- Frontera Farmer Foundation Grants: Supports small, sustainable farms serving the Chicago area by providing them with capital development grants.
- The FruitGuys Community Fund: Supports projects that help small farms and/or orchards operate more sustainably, both environmentally and economically, as well as strengthen community outreach.
- Organic Farming Research Foundation: Funding available for research projects on any agricultural production, social, economic, or policy-related topic of concern to organic farmers or ranchers.