The King Conservation District is offering $650,000 of regional food systems grants in support of King County agriculture. Grants will be awarded to fund food system related projects with demonstrated public benefit and a link to improving working farm lands in King County.
A launch event is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 10, at the TAF/Bethaday Learning Center, 605 SW 108th St. Seattle.
Any individual, nonprofit, business, school, special district, tribe or King County jurisdiction within the boundaries of the conservation district may submit a letter of intent for consideration. Documents to submit a letter can be found on conservation district’s website www.kingcd.org. The due date is 5 p.m. July 1.
In addition to responses of four relevant questions regarding the proposed project, applicants must arrange for submission of three peer reviews.
“Our hope is, by requiring three peer reviews for each letter of intent, we will be encouraging a sense of community around the entire grant application process,” said Program Manager Josh Monaghan.
Letters of intent will be ranked and based on the results invitations will be issued to attend a grant proposal workshop July 20. At the workshop applicants will give a 15 minute presentation of their proposed project. This step is intended to encourage a sense of community amongst grant seekers and foster collaboration between proposed projects. A full grant proposal is due to the conservation district by September 4.
In the development of this grant program, district staff have actively engaged with regional food systems planning groups including the King County Local Food Initiative and the Regional Food Policy Council’s Action Plan among others. These groups have been key in identifying gaps in infrastructure, production and marketing that affect King County agriculture and keep it from becoming a more robust economic driver in our region.
Outgoing King County Food Initiative Program Manager Lilly Simmering said, “The funds that KCD brings to the table help fill the critical gaps left open by restrictions in federal and state grants.”