11/16 UPDATE: Review new grant opportunities

News and new grant funding opportunities and resources for the S.C. Lowcountry Promise Zone


logo_updateIn this update, you will find new information and recent news on a variety of topics, including:

NEWS:   Town halls will be held today (Nov. 16) in Barnwell, on Thursday in Allendale and Monday in Hampton to brief leaders and interested parties on what’s been happening in the Promise Zone.

COMING EVENTS: The S.C. Arts Commission’s Susan DuPlessis will be part of a free Thursday webinar on how to strengthen rural development through cooperation.  Take a look below and join the one-hour presentation online..

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES:  There are a host of new and current funding opportunities, plus many for which deadlines are approaching.  See below for a comprehensive list of what’s new and available.

RESOURCES:  This section provides links to studies and stories that you may find helpful.


Town halls to be held in Allendale, Barnwell, Hampton counties

Leaders of community organizations and neighborhoods are invited to attend town hall meetings over the next week in Barnwell, Allendale and Hampton to get updates on progress in the S.C. Lowcountry Promise Zone.  Similar meetings were held last month in Bamberg, Walterboro and Ridgeland.  Here’s the schedule:

Nov. 16, 5:30 p.m. — Barnwell County residents are encouraged to attend a one-hour information session and discussion at the SouthernCarolina Alliance office in Barnwell for a Promise Zone update and focus group about training opportunities.  The meeting is expected to last no more than an hour.

  • Location:  Edisto Room, SouthernCarolina Alliance, 1750 Jackson St., Barnwell, S.C.
  • NOTE:  Parking is behind the SouthernCarolina building at 54 Irving St.

Nov. 17, 5 p.m. — Allendale County residents will receive a similar update and be able to participate in a discussion about training opportunities.  The meeting, which will be held in Allendale County Council chambers, will end at 6 p.m. to allow for a scheduled meeting of Allendale County Council.

  • Location: Council chambers, 2ndfloor, Allendale County Courthouse, 292 Barnwell Highway, Allendale, SC.

Nov. 21, 4:45 p.m. — Hampton County residents will receive an update and be able to participate in a discussion about training opportunities.  The meeting, which will be held in Hampton County Council chambers, will end at 5:45 p.m. to allow for a scheduled meeting of Hampton County Council.

  • Location: Council chambers, Hampton County Administrative Complex, 200 Jackson, Ave., Hampton, S.C.

Bamberg hosts growth strategy workshop

Bamberg residents participated in a growth strategy workshop Monday and Tuesday that was hosted by Smart Growth America as part of a free, USDA Rural Development-funded technical assistance program.  The workshop to develop long-term strategies to help Bamberg save on infrastructure costs as the community grows.  More info.


WEBINAR, Nov. 17:  Strengthening rural development through cooperation

The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design will offer a one-hour seminar at 3 p.m. Nov. 17 to share how pooling resources and cooperating across town boundaries can help rural areas gain efficiencies and improve their quality of life.  Among the speakers is Susan DuPlessis, program director for the S.C. Arts Commission and an active Promise Zone proponent.

  • WHEN: 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., Nov. 17, 2016
  • REGISTER FOR FREE:  Click here.


EPA:  Environmental Justice Small Grants (new)

EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants program provides financial assistance to community-based organizations, and local and tribal governments working on projects to address environmental and public health concerns. EPA will award grants that support activities designed to empower and educate affected communities and to identify ways to address environmental and public health concerns at the local level. Approximately 40 one-year projects will be awarded at up to $30,000 each nationwide.

An eligible applicant MUST BE one of the following entities: 1. Incorporated, non-profit, community-based organizations. This includes environmental justice networks, faith based organizations and those affiliated with religious institutions; 2. federally recognized tribal governments; OR 3. tribal organizations.

EDUCATION:  Upward Bound Program (new)

The U.S. Department of Education is offering grants to nonprofits, LEAs, public agencies, and IHEs for a wide array of activities to encourage at-risk youth to complete high school and go on to college through the Upward Bound program.

  • Deadline to apply: Nov. 28, 2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

EPA:  Brownfields grant money (new)

EPA is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies for either: 1) developing inventories of brownfields, prioritizing sites, conducting community involvement activities, and conducting site assessments and cleanup planning related to brownfields sites, or 2) cleaning up contaminated brownfields sites.

  • Deadline: Dec. 20, 2016. Click here for program guidelines and to apply.

HRSA:  Rural Health Network Development Grant Program (RHND)

The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy  offers grants for healthcare networks in rural areas to assist with increasing access to and improve the quality of healthcare services.

  • Application Deadline: Nov. 28, 2016

USDA:   Community Food Projects Grants

Project and planning grants are available to fund projects that improve access to food and/or participation in Federally assisted nutrition programs for low-income individuals. 

  • Eligibility: Public food program service providers, tribal organizations, or private nonprofit organizations. Please see RFA. Funding: $8.6 million in total grants; 100% match required.
  • Deadline: Nov. 30, 2016.

HUD:  Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program Community Selection

As part of the Continuum of Care program, HUD will select up to 10 communities to participate in the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) to develop and execute a coordinated community approach to preventing and ending youth homelessness. Four of the selected communities will be rural. Applicants must be a collaborative registered through the 2016 Continuum of Care Program.

  • Application Deadline:Nov 30, 2016

USDA:  Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Program

The program funds project providing training, education, outreach, and mentoring programs to enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers. Priority given to veterans, socially disadvantaged and women farmers or ranchers. 

  • Eligibility:Collaborative state, tribal, local, or regionally-based networks or partnership of qualified public and/or private organizations.
  • Funding:$17.7 million total. A 25% match is required.
  • Deadline: Dec. 8, 2016

USDA:  Farm to School Grants

The program funds projects that improve access to local foods in schools. Priority funding is given to projects that: are submitted by state agencies, involve specific FNS programs (like CACFP or Summer Meals), collaborate with service programs, serve high-poverty communities, involve innovative strategies, or impact multiple schools. 

  • Eligibility:Schools, state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers, and non-profit organizations. 
  • Funding:$5 million in grants. 
  • Deadline: Dec. 8, 2016. 

USDA:  Apply for next round of Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program Grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of up to $16.7 million in competitive grant funding to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by families and households participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The funding will be awarded to eligible nonprofits and governmental organizations through the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program, administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

  • Applications are due by Dec. 12, 2016.

USDA:  Solid Waste Management Grant Program (SWMFY2017)

Offers funds to organizations to provide technical assistance that will reduce or eliminate pollution of water resources in rural areas and improve planning and management of solid waste sites in rural areas.

  • Application Deadline:Dec 31, 2016

USDA:   Water and Waste Disposal Technical Assistance and Training Grants

Offers grants for organizations that assist communities with water or wastewater operations through technical assistance and/or training.

  • Application Deadline:Dec 31, 2016

USDA:  National School Lunch After School Snack Program 

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service offers funding for schools and residential child care institutions to provide after school snacks to low-income children who participate in the National School Lunch program.

  • Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

USDA Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP)

  • Purpose: Provides loans and grants to Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDO’s) to provide microloans, training, and technical assistance to microloan borrowers and micro entrepreneurs.
  • Eligibility: See website.
  • Funding: Up to $205,000 annually (with 15% matching); loans up to $50,000-$500,000 for MDOs; loans up to $50,000 to ultimate recipients.
  • Deadline: Rolling (applications will be considered for next Federal fiscal quarter).

USDA Microloans (FSA)

  • Purpose: USDA’s Farm Service Agency provides financial assistance for small, beginning farmer, niche and non-traditional farm ownership or operations. Non-traditional farm operations can include truck farms, farms, direct marketing farmers, Community Supported Agriculture, restaurants and grocery stores, or those using hydroponic, aquaponic, organic, and/or vertical growing methods.
  • Eligibility: Please see website.
  • Funding: Maximum of $50,000.
  • Deadline: Ongoing


Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children Access to Care Grants (new)

Offers matching grants to support community-based initiatives that provide dental homes to children whose families cannot afford dental care.

  • Application Deadline: Dec 15, 2016
  • Sponsor:American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) Program (new)

Grants to support innovative academic-practice partnerships to prepare primary care advanced practice registered nursing students to practice in rural and underserved settings through academic and clinical training.

  • Application Deadline:Jan 25, 2017
  • Sponsor:Bureau of Health Workforce

Safer School Garden Grant (Safer Brand)

  • Purpose:Provides funding to start a school garden to help students be more active, be more environmentally-conscious, and build healthy eating habits. 
  • Eligibility:Schools that are not past winners.
  • Funding:$500 grant. 
  • Deadline: Dec. 1, 2016.

Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries Accepting School Library Grant Applications

  • DEADLINE: Dec. 12, 2016
  • Grants of up to $7,000 will be awarded to help school libraries expand, update, and diversify their book collections….

CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation Invites Applications for Teacher Technology Grants

  • DEADLINE: Dec. 12, 2017
  • Grants will be awarded to K-12 teachers to help fund classroom projects that advance student success through the innovative use of technology….

Bush Foundation Accepting Applications for Community Innovation Grant Program

  • DEADLINE: Open
  • Grants of up to $200,000 will be awarded in support of inclusive, collaborative projects that use community assets to address a community need or opportunity….

NEA, Kresge:   Creative Placemaking Program

The National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the Kresge Foundation, has announced the launch of a technical assistance program for the creative placemaking field. Through the program, Kresge and the NEA will collaborate with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the National Creative Placemaking Program, and PolicyLink to provide fourteen organizations and their partners with specialized technical assistance aimed at building each organization’s capacity to lead placemaking projects that result in positive short- and long-term outcomes for their community. The program also will work to clarify standard practices in creative placemaking by sharing lessons learned and will inform future funding practices for NEA’s Our Town program and Kresge’s own investments in the field.

NACO:     Rural Impact County Challenge: A National Effort to Combat Rural Child Poverty 

The National Association of Counties’ Rural Impact County Challenge will recognize and support counties making strides in reducing child poverty in rural communities. The challenge will provide educational opportunities, networking forums, and resources to develop and implement evidenced-based approaches to reduce the number of children and families living in poverty in rural areas.

  • Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.


White House Rural Council Rural Strategies that Work Memo (new)

The White House Rural Council has released a memorandum entitled Rural Strategies that Work, which presents strategies for Federal work in rural America that have resulted in improved outcomes over the course of the Obama Administration. Authored by Secretary Vilsack, Office and Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan, Domestic Policy Director Cecilia Muñoz and National Economic Council Director Jeff Zients, the memorandum presents policies and administrative actions that increase rural communities’ ability to access and leverage local and Federal resources.

On-farm renewable energy production varies regionally (new)

Since the early 2000s, farms have increased renewable energy production with technologies like solar panels, wind turbines, and methane digesters. From 2007 to 2012, the number of farms generating on-farm renewable energy more than doubled to nearly 58,000—or 2.7 percent of U.S. farms. This does not include the roughly 16,600 farms that leased wind rights to others or that produced ethanol and biodiesel on the farm. Adoption of on-farm renewable energy systems varies across the country but it is concentrated in the Western United States, Illinois, and New England. In these regions, about two in five farm businesses produce renewable energy in some counties. The Southeastern States, which have fewer subsidies and programs supporting renewable power, had low adoption rates.

Across income groups, fast food largest source of food-away-from-home calories (new)

Federal food intake surveys conducted between 1977 and 2012 reveal that meals and snacks from fast food places accounted for more of Americans’ away-from-home calories than food from full-service restaurants, school cafeterias, or other away-from-home eating places. In 1977-78, eating places with no wait staff (fast food) provided 5.7 percent of daily calories for those age 2 and older, while food prepared by restaurants with wait staff provided 3.2 percent. By 2011-12, fast food’s share of calories had increased to 15.8 percent, while restaurant foods provided 8.9 percent of daily calories. Fast food’s ranking as the largest contributor to away-from-home calories held true for both higher income individuals (household income above 185 percent of the Federal poverty line) and individuals with incomes below that amount. In all of these surveys, higher income consumers obtained a larger share of their calories from foods prepared by restaurants (11.2 percent in 2011-12) than did lower income consumers (5.8 percent in 2011-12)

Growing Rural Economies and Opportunities through Social Media

From Facebook to Snapchat, rural businesses are exploring how to use social media to improve their customer’s experience and expand their customer base. Over the last eight years, USDA and the Obama Administration have partnered with rural communities to build more opportunities that support rural small business owners, farmers and ranchers through applied research.


  • PAST INFO:  To access past resources and opportunities, Click here
  • SIGN UP: To receive this update by email, sign up for free by clicking here.
  • SEND INFO: If you have information that you think other people in the Promise Zone need to know, click here to send to our editor.

(c) 2016, S.C. Lowcountry Promise Zone.  All rights reserved.

Share this information: