DEM accepts applications for local agriculture, seafood grants
LINDA KUSHNER, left, sells produce at the Hope Street Farmers Market. On Thursday, Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee and the R.I. Department of Environmental Management announced the agency would award $210,000 in grants to help farmers and local seafood businesses promote and market their Rhode Island-grown products.
PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Department of Environmental Management and the Rhode Island Food Policy Council are accepting applications for Local Agriculture and Seafood Act grants, designed to help farmers and local seafood businesses promote and market their Rhode Island-grown products.
Nonprofit organizations, and small or beginning farmers and seafood vendors are eligible to apply for grants of up to $20,000, with the potential to earn matching funds from the van Beuren Charitable Foundation, the Henry P. Kendall Foundation and the Rhode Island Foundation, which helped fund the grant program.
In total, the DEM will dole out $210,000 in Local Agriculture and Seafood Act grants, which includes $100,000 in state funding and an additional $110,000 in matching funds from the three private foundations.
“These funds will ensure that the sale of locally grown agricultural products and seafood will continue to thrive, and that these businesses become even more of a key employer in our state,” said Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee in a prepared statement.
Funding will be provided up front and may be used to support projects of up to two years in duration. The projects must serve one or more of the following purposes to be eligible:
Assist in the marketing of Rhode Island-grown agricultural products and local seafood for the purpose of sale and promotion.
Enhance the economic competitiveness of Rhode Island-grown agricultural products and local seafood.
Provide financial and technical assistance to organizations and producers for activities and programs that enhance the economic viability of local agriculture, and support the development of a locally based, safe and sustainable food system.
Perform other activities necessary to facilitate the success and viability of the state’s agricultural and seafood sectors.
In addition, the Local Agriculture and Seafood Act grant program may also provide capital grants to small or beginning Rhode Island farmers to support the growth and sustainability of Rhode Island’s farming and aquaculture industries.
“Farming and fishing are areas of economic growth in Rhode Island, and this new grant program will catalyze and support local businesses,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “This initiative is one of many efforts taken by DEM to support local agriculture and our state’s food economy.”
Grant applications are due to the DEM by Tuesday, April 1. Applicants will be notified of award decisions by May 1.