Madison Food Policy Council Launches 2018 SEED Grants Application

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Trina La Susa / Madison Commons

Potential applicants gathered at Meadowridge Library on Jan. 31 for an information session about the 2018 SEED grant application. (Trina La Susa/Madison Commons)

Potential applicants from the Madison community gathered at Meadowridge Library last Wednesday for an information session discussing the 2018 SEED grant application.

For the fifth year, the Madison Food Policy Council will distribute $50,000 in grant funds to support projects that increase healthy food access for City of Madison residents. Proposals from organizations, groups or agencies devoted to improving the local food system will be considered, and the maximum of any one grant will be limited to $10,000.

“Over the past four years this grant has been funded, there have been 39 grants funded with $200,000 total,” Food Policy Coordinator George Reistad said.

The information session was well-attended, garnering nearly a dozen potential applicants from organizations like Community GroundworksIndependent Living, Inc.East Madison Community Center and Slow Food UW.

Devin Hamilton, the assistant director of public policy for Growing Urban Leaders in Food Systems (GULF), sees the grants as a unique opportunity to help address food insecurity initiatives.

“Food is one of the best ways to engage our youth in lessons—it’s super hands on, it brings people together and it gets kids of color in the community talking,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton is a part of the GULF project, which aims to empower young people on the southwest area of Madison by providing them with education and resources to address inequities in the food system. The program is currently piloting at the Badger Rock Middle School and Mellowhood Foundation.

Trina La Susa / Madison Commons

Food Policy Coordinator George Reistad presents information about the 2018 SEED Grants and answered questions. (Trina La Susa/Madison Commons)

Attendees explored potential collaboration opportunities with other organizations and shared their diverse proposals ranging from food education, to meeting refrigeration needs and subsidizing meals.

The 2018 SEED Grant application materials for 2018 will have a few changes from last year. The application will be a page shorter with a summarized list of priority areas that proposals should address and the Healthy Food For All (HFFA) now serves as a guide for project strategies instead of a requirement. Overall, there will be an increased transparency in points allotted per grant application section, the SEED Grants webpage will include a FAQ document, and the information session presentation will be available online to create further accessibility.

All applications are due by Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. Any questions or concerns about the grant can be directed to Food Policy Coordinator George Reistad at 608-266-4611.

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