Maui News

Agriculture Dept. Accepting Applications for Micro-Grants for Food Security Program

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The Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the “Micro-Grants for Food Security Program.” File Photo.

The Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the “Micro-Grants for Food Security Program,” which provides support for small-scale gardening, herding and livestock operations to help produce food in areas where people don’t have enough to eat.

In August 2020, the US Department of Agriculture awarded Hawaiʻi $1.9 million for this grant program that was established under the 2018 Farm Bill.

Information on the Request for Proposals may be found at the Hawai‘i State Procurement website. The maximum award for an individual is $5,000 for a year project and $2,500 for a 6-month project. Under the grant program rules, religious organization, food banks and food pantries may also apply. Applications/proposals must be emailed to and received by noon, April 23, 2021.


“Through the pandemic, there has been an increase in backyard and small-scale farming which has helped families to economically supplement their basic food needs,” Gov. David Ige said.  “This grant program presents a unique opportunity to support subsistence agriculture in Hawaiʻi.”

Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chairperson of the Hawaiʻi Board of Agriculture, said: “Small-scale farmers and food gardens are often left out of federal funding programs. In these cases, we know that a little support can go a long way to help food security for our families and communities.”

Examples of activities that may be funded under this grant:

  • Small-Scale Gardening: purchase tools or equipment, soil, seeds, plants, canning equipment, refrigeration, composting equipment, towers, hydroponic and aeroponic farming.
  • Small-Scale Herding and Livestock Operations: purchase animals; buy, erect or repair fencing for livestock; and activities or supplies associated with setting up or equipping a slaughter and processing facility, including purchasing mobile slaughterhouses.
  • Expanding Access to Food and Knowledge of Food Security: create or expand avenues for the sale of food commodities, including paying for shipping of purchased items related to growing or raising food for local consumption.

Additional information, including Frequently Asked Questions, are available at the grant portal.

To assist interested parties with the application requirements, a Zoom webinar has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 16 at 10 am.

  • Meeting ID: 983 7226 2871
  • Passcode: HDOAMDB

Information and a recording of the webinar will also be posted at:


Eligible proposals will be reviewed by a panel in each county and awards are expected to be announced in May 2021, with first disbursement of funds expected in July 2021.

Questions regarding the application process may addressed to the Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture’s Market Development Branch at 808-973-9595 or email:


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