Cost-share grants are available to help meet the needs of Missourians experiencing a shortage of food. The state Department of Agriculture is offering up to $50,000 for projects that benefit residents lacking food in populated regions of the state. Taylor Tuttle is manager of the Missouri Grown Program.

“You know, we’ve seen a lot of different projects over the years,” according to Tuttle, who manages this grant. “Some of those projects include ag education centers in a community or neighborhood that focuses on teaching residents how to produce their own food. Maybe it’s a community garden or a permanent farmer’s market or, in other cases, we’ve had community kitchens. A certified kitchen that folks can rent at no cost or low costs to process their food.”

Applications for the Food Insecure Cost-Share Grant funds must benefit residents experiencing a shortage of food in urban areas. In this case, urban areas, as designated by the 2020 U.S. Census, so rural places like Peculiar and Mexico qualify.

“So this particular grant within the state statute, which is House Bill 6, it specifically states that the funding for this grant, it’s for initiatives that work to reduce food insecurity in areas, which have been designated an urbanized area by the U.S. Census Bureau,” said Tuttle. “When we get ready to launch this grant, we referred to that U.S. Census Bureau listing.”

The deadline to apply for the Food Insecure Cost-Share Grant is August 31, and projects must be complete or near completion by March 31, 2024.

“So we typically award the grant, our plan is late September and then we have some other forms that are due,” according to Tuttle. “We have a reimbursement request form that is due January 31, 2024, and then their final report is due March 31, 2024, and then their inspection must be completed by April 30.”

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