8/10 UPDATE: New grant opportunities, more


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

  • RECENT NEWS:   You should read a fresh opinion piece by Promise Zone coordinator Dean Van Pelt that encourages folks to apply for grants.  Also, you will learn how entities have gotten almost $3.5 million in federal funding over the last month, meet new partners and learn about a big expansion.
  • COMING EVENT:  The S.C. Association of Community Economic Development has its annual conference next month that might provide you with the kind of information you need to apply for grants and more.
  • NEW FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES:  Learn about five community economic development and capacity-building grant opportunities that Promise Zone communities can take advantage of.
  • OTHER OPPORTUNITIES:  Learn about several other grant opportunities that you might want to investigate.
  • RESOURCES:  This section provides links to studies and stories on rural health, food hubs and more.


Van Pelt:  Let’s not miss our chances with Promise Zone.  Area newspapers published this op-ed by Promise Zone coordinator Dean Van Pelt in which he reminded organizations in the Promise Zone that to receive federal funding, they have to apply for grants or loans.  An excerpt:

“Federal dollars won’t rain down on our area unless we ask for them by applying for grants and loans. The burden is on organizations that want to make a difference. They have to go through the sometimes arduous, time-consuming process of filling in forms and submitting applications to federal agencies if they want to receive funding for projects that will grow jobs, increase commerce, advance education, create better health care, improve infrastructure, leverage capital, boost affordable housing and more.”  Read the full piece.

$3.5 million in recent funding.  Federal officials recently announced almost $4 million in funding that will benefit the Promise Zone:

  • Workforce training. Paxen, a national workforce development organization, has received $1.5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Labor to help 18- to 24-year olds in Allendale, Bamberg and Barnwell counties get job training for a path to meaningful employment.
  • Health-related projects. The USC School of Nursing has received a $264,144 grant from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to increase the number of rural primary care nurse practitioners.  Palmetto Care Collections in Bamberg has received $158,214 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to purchase tele-health equipment to improve access to quality care in the zone.  Family Health Centers, Inc., in Orangeburg won $1.525 million in funding from two HHS grants to enroll more children in the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program and to purchase a mobile dental health vehicle to benefit.  Both grants are to serve some Promise Zone areas and neighboring counties.

Business expansion in Jasper County.   Carolina Metal Castings, a full-service provider of after-market metal castings, is expanding its manufacturing operations in Jasper County. The project will result in 13 new jobs and an investment of more than $3 million over the next five years.

New Promise Zone partners.  Let’s welcome two new partners that joined the Promise Zone in the last month:

  • A Second Chance Resource Center, a North Charleston-based organization that seeks to provide second chances to people in need through services such as parenting education classes, mentoring, career exploration and more.
  • Public Arts for Health and Stability, a South Carolina organization that supports public arts and seeks to shape the next generation of young artists.


SCACED’s annual Community Economic Development Conference

  • When: 14-16, 2016, Greenville, S.C.
  • Overview: This year’s conference for the S.C. Association of Community Economic Development, a Promise Zone partner, will focus on “Connecting Communities, Creating Opportunities.” It will connect communities with one another and to valuable resources by providing a series of forums, networking events, seminars and training sessions.
  • What to expect: You will join a diverse group of public, nonprofit and private sector leaders who are working collaboratively to build wealth and create opportunity for all South Carolinians. “Opportunity SC” connects communities with one another and to valuable resources by providing a series of forums, networking events, seminars and training sessions. Visit OpportunitySC.org for details and discounted rates.


NEA:  Our Town grant programs

Applications due Sept. 12, 2016

The Our Town grant program supports creative placemaking projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core. Creative placemaking is when artists, arts organizations, and community development practitioners deliberately integrate arts and culture into community revitalization work – placing arts at the table with land-use, transportation, economic development, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety strategies. This funding supports local efforts to enhance quality of life and opportunity for existing residents, increase creative activity, and create a distinct sense of place. Our Town offers support for projects in two areas: Arts Engagement, Cultural Planning, and Design Projects and Projects that Build Knowledge About Creative Placemaking. Matching grants range from $25,000 to $200,000.

HUD:  Rural Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing Grants

Applications due September 13, 2016.

HUD is making $5,000,000 available through this NOFA for Rural Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing Grants. The Rural Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing Grants Program funds national organizations with expertise in rural housing and community development to strengthen the capacity of rural housing development organizations, CDCs, CHDOs, local governments, and Indian Tribes to carry out community development and affordable housing activities that benefit low- and moderate-income families and persons in rural areas. Award Ceiling: $2,500,000 ; Award Floor: $500,000.

USDA: Community Facility Grant and Loan Program

  • Purpose:Provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities, including local food system facilities, in rural areas with populations under 20,000.
  • Funding:
  • Eligibility: Public bodies, community-based nonprofits, federally-recognized Tribes. Priority is given to small communities (populations of 5,500 or less) and low-income communities.
  • Deadline:

EDA:  Economic Development Assistance Programs

  • Purpose: Provides financial assistance to projects that support: development and job creation in economically distressed areas.
  • Eligibility: Tribal, state, local governments, educational institutions, non-profits with and without 501(c)(3) status.
  • Funding: $100K to $3 million.
  • Deadline: Rolling.

EDA:  Planning Program and Local Technical Assistance Program

  • Purpose: Provides financial and technical assistance to plan and implement EDA projects.
  • Eligibility: Tribal, state, local governments, educational institutions, non-profits with and without 501(c)(3) status.
  • Funding:up to $300,000.
  • Deadline: Rolling.


HHS: Public Health Student Volunteer Program

The Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides a one-semester internship experience for students enrolled in a public health program.  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).

Small grants to address food insecurity

Deadline:  Sept. 15, 2016

CSX and The Conservation Fund have joined forces for a third round of grants to help combat food insecurity! The Grants Program for Transporting Healthy Food will help strengthen and support the transportation and distribution of healthy food to communities in need. Small grants will enable producers and retailers to acquire the equipment and resources needed to sustain food quality and safety as they sell, store, package and distribute fresh produce and other foods. More than 23 million Americans across the country have limited or no access to fresh produce, meats and seafood. One of the contributing factors to these “food deserts” is the lack of local infrastructure to distribute fresh food to markets. We need to connect people to food, and food to people! For the last two years, the recipient organizations used the grant funds to purchase refrigeration and delivery trucks, acquire portable food chests and expand local food supply and capacity to provide more than 214 million pounds of nutritious food to approximately 8.5 million people annually.

 Laura Jane Musser Fund: Rural Initiative Program

  • Purpose:Funds projects in rural communities for economic development, business preservation, arts/humanities, public space improvements, and education.
  • Eligibility: Government or nonprofit entities in communities with fewer than 10,000 people.Funding: Planning
  • Deadline:November 2, 2016.

Developing Healthy Places

  • Purpose:Kresge Foundation seeks to fund nonprofit or government initiatives that build healthier and more equitable food systems, transportation infrastructure, and land use.
  • Eligibility:Nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations, government entities.
  • Funding:
  • Deadline:

Jewel-Osco Community Grants

  • Purpose:Fund organizations promoting nutrition education, healthy eating, and local/sustainable conscientiousness.
  • Eligibility:501(c)(3) organizations.
  • Deadline:

Surdna Foundation/Sustainable Environment Grants

  • Purpose:Fund projects that develop regional food infrastructure, reduce barriers to access, strategize infrastructure construction.
  • Eligibility:Non-profit organizations.
  • Funding: Need-based.
  • Deadline:Rolling financing, or link organizations to more effectively advance regional food efforts. Preference is given to projects that address low-income communities of color and combine food supply efforts with

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:

Reducing Climate Change through Use of Agricultural Land Grant (USDA-NIFA)

  • Purpose:Fund projects that explore how to use land in an environmentally friendly way that promotes production and distribution of food. Projects should help reduce energy, water, and nitrogen fertilizer input in farming, and promote carbon sequestration.
  • Eligibility:Research or land grant institutions. 
  • Funding:$8.4 million total.
  • Deadline:Letter of intent due September 14, 2016. Application due November 17, 2016.


Social Determinants of Health for Rural People

This topic guide has been updated with new frequently asked questions and updated statistics. It focuses on the health inequities that rural resident’s experience. Learn how income-level, educational attainment, race/ethnicity, housing quality, and other factors impact health. The guide is maintained by Maren Niemeier, RHIhub Information Resources Manager.

Food Hub Financial Benchmarking Study

Counting Values presents a set of financial and operational performance benchmarks for food hubs. This study aims to establish the basis for comparing results across a business sector that is both new and multipurpose.

HUD Publishes the Renewable Energy Toolkit for Affordable Housing

This toolkit enable recipients of HUD Community Planning and Development (CPD) grants to integrate renewable energies into their affordable housing development programs under HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA), or Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG). Integration of renewable energy into affordable housing is important because it maintains affordability through reduced energy costs, which can facilitate improved operations and maintenance.

What Works? Strategies to Improve Rural Health

A guide for rural community health improvement. Explains how to find strategies that are likely to be effective. Identifies interventions related to health behaviors, healthcare access and quality, social and economic factors, and the physical environment.



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