On June 5, the Maryland Food Bank will begin accepting proposals for our Neighbor Impact Grant. This opportunity will support promising practices and innovative approaches that have the potential to bring about lasting change.
Maryland Food Bank seeks community partners who are willing to create and test new ideas quickly, who bring an enthusiasm for learning from initial lessons, and have a willingness to make changes midstream that improve on an idea as part of the innovation process. These grants will be available through a competitive application process and open to both existing MFB partners and organizations with a 501(c)(3) that have not previously partnered with the food bank.
Maryland Food Bank is dedicating at least $1 million to this initiative over a two-year period and will award grants to approximately six organizations.
This funding initiative supports Pillar Two of MFB’s Strategic Plan 3.0, Creating Pathways Out of Hunger, “addressing deeply rooted causes of hunger while opening up pathways out of food insecurity and toward greater local resiliency.” With a deep understanding and appreciation for the complexity and diversity of this work, MFB recognizes that addressing the root causes of food insecurity can take many forms.
For neighbors and families, addressing those root causes can mean:
- Integrating food distribution strategies with wraparound approaches, or vice versa;
- Developing new strategies that reach priority populations and those reluctant to seek assistance; or
- Supporting ideas, processes and approaches that leverage partnerships to achieve better results
At the systems level, addressing root causes can mean:
- Breaking down barriers to food access;
- Engaging in efforts that weaken/eliminate the impact of systemic racism on marginalized communities;
- Highlighting disparities like access to housing, education, jobs, healthcare, and safe environments that make the road to self-sufficiency difficult;
- Advocating for legislative and policy changes that support equitable access to safety net programs for MFB’s neighbors provided by community partners.
Online Information Session
Members of Maryland Food Bank’s funding team hosted an online information session on June 8. The recording is now available.
Neighbor Impact Grant FAQs
What geographic areas are eligible for funding?
Our service area is all of the counties of Maryland, except for Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.
What type of organizations are eligible for funding?
Eligible applicants include both existing MFB partners and organizations with a 501(c)(3) that have not previously partnered with MFB. Please see the Neighbor Impact Grant Overview PDF for more detail on eligibility.
May I apply for this funding opportunity even if I am already funded by MFB?
Yes. Applicants that have other active MFB grants may apply.
How do I apply?
Start your grant application now!
What is the timeframe for this grant?
The key dates for this grant are:
- July 31, 2023: Grant proposal due
- Early September: Award notifications (estimated)
- October 1, 2023: Project start date
What is meant by “innovative approaches”?
MFB is seeking to fund applicants who are willing to create and test new ideas or “innovative approaches” quickly, who bring an enthusiasm for learning from initial lessons, and who have a willingness to make changes midstream that improve on an idea as part of the idea-creation process. We’re looking for promising practices that, if successful, have the potential to bring about lasting change.
How will MFB measure grant performance?
Funded grantees will report on required metrics identified in the Application Evaluation Factors. See the Neighbor Impact Grant Overview PDF for more information.
In addition to the completed application, what other elements are required with my proposal?
Eligible applicants must submit the following documents:
- Logic Model and Evaluation Plan (template provided)
- W-9 Form
- Project Budget and Budget Narrative
Who can I contact for additional questions about my grant request?
If you are not a partner, please contact Jon Lemich, Maryland Food Bank’s Director of Foundation Relations and Partnership Grants. If you are a current MFB partner, please contact your Regional Program Director:
- Yekatit Bezooayehu, Southern Region
Counties: Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Howard, and St. Mary’s
- Ruthie Pritchard, Western Region
Counties: Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, and Washington
- Rebecca Mann, Northern Region
Counties: Carroll, Cecil, Harford, and Baltimore
- Devonne Franklin, Baltimore City
- Doris Mason, Eastern Region
Counties: Queen Anne’s, Kent, Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset, and Worcester
Budget / Funding
Are there any restrictions on funding staff time on the grant?
There are no restrictions on staff time, but the staff time should be appropriate for the completion of proposed grant activities.
What funding amount should we request?
We want to challenge both new and existing partners to develop a proof of concept in Year One (maximum grant of $100,000) and build on their successful exploration in Year Two (maximum grant of $75,000).
Post Award Reporting
What are my reporting obligations to MFB?
Grantees of MFB are responsible for reporting to MFB through narrative reports, budgets, and budget narratives at the end of the Year One and Year Two.
How do I submit my report to MFB?
MFB will ask you to submit your Year One and Year Two reports at the end of those grant periods via web form.