State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced the launch of the $800,000 New York State Urban Farms and Community Gardens Grant Program. The program, which is designed to support community growing spaces and recognize their impact on local food resiliency and food security for New Yorkers, is now open for applications. Successful projects will be geared toward the development and enhancement of urban farms, school gardens, and community gardens across the State.
Commissioner Ball said, “From neighborhood gardens to rooftop farming, community growers help educate residents about agriculture and make locally grown food more accessible, especially to those in food deserts and underserved areas. As we continue to reflect on the COVID-19 pandemic, we are constantly reminded that developing and strengthening a strong, local food supply chain is paramount to ensuring all New Yorkers can put food on the table, even during difficult times. These spaces also respond to the unique needs and aspirations of the communities where they exist to contribute social and economic benefits beyond food production. The Urban Farms and Community Gardens Grant Program expands on that effort by supporting the community growing organizations that fill an essential gap in the supply chain.”
Funding through the Urban Farms and Community Gardens Grant Program will help offset costs associated with projects that focus on food production, food safety, and food distribution, while creating a lasting impact on local food resiliency, and can be used to fund worker wages, contractual expenses, equipment, and other operating expenses. Eligible applicants include not-for-profit organizations, not-for-profit educational institutions, municipal government entities, and Indian tribal organizations.
For more information on the program and how to apply, visit agriculture.ny.gov/rfp-0280-urban-farms-and-community-gardens-grant-program. A virtual webinar with information about the program, how to apply, and eligibility requirements will be held on November 18. For questions or to RSVP, please contact [email protected].
Funding for the Urban Farms and Community Gardens Grant Program was announced in Governor Hochul’s 2022 State of the State Address as part of the Governor’s commitment to making local food more accessible to all New Yorkers and to encourage more urban farming. Earlier this year, the Department announced it would be taking a statewide study of urban agriculture to better understand the industry and put forth policy recommendations to further support it.
This grant program complements the Department’s ongoing efforts to provide technical assistance to community growing organizations statewide and promote urban agriculture. New York is home to more than 1,000 registered or permitted urban and community gardens. Through its Community Gardens Program, the Department helps foster greener, healthier cities by connecting community groups with state or local agencies to facilitate the use of vacant properties for community gardens.