Maui Business

Applications available for Hawaiʻi Micro-Grant for Food Security Program

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File photo courtesy: Maui Food Bank

The Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for the popular Micro-Grant for Food Security Program. This is the third year of the grant program which provides support for small-scale gardening, herding and livestock operations to increase the quantity and quality of locally grown food in food insecure communities.

A total of $2 million is available for this year’s program which was provided by the US Department of Agriculture under the 2018 Farm Bill.

This year’s program is open to:

  • Individuals, including backyard farmers – up to $5,000
    • Applicants must be a Hawaiʻi resident, at least 18 years old and head of the household.
    • Those previously granted awards under the MGFSP are ineligible
  • Organizations that are registered to do business in Hawai‘i, including Native Hawaiian, nonprofits, federally funded educational facilities – up to $10,000
    • Organizations receiving awards will be required to provide matching funds of at least 10% of the grant award. The matching funds cannot be derived from other federal sources.

The online application form and program information for individuals are available at the HDOA Market Development Branch website.  The Request for Proposals for organizations is posted on the State Procurement Office website.


The deadline for all applications is at noon on June 15, 2023

“There is overwhelming interest in this grant program, and we are glad that we are able to open it to organizations this year,” said Sharon Hurd, chairperson of the Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture in a news release. “We have seen the good work that individuals have done in increasing their family’s food security and look forward to what organizations will be able to do for their communities.”

Consideration will be based on the description of the project, the number of beneficiaries, and whether the applicant received an award in the previous programs. Consideration will also be given to the level of food security in the location of the household or organization’s project plan as indicated on the Food Insecurity Index, calculated by Conduent Healthy Communities Institute using data from Claritas, 2022. The index which maps food insecurity by zip code may be found online.

Examples of the types of activities that may be funded under this grant include:

  • 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.

To assist interested parties with the application process, a Zoom webinar has been scheduled for:

Wednesday, May 17, 2023, 10 a.m. Hawai‘i Standard Time.

To join the webinar:

  • click on:
  • Or One tap mobile :  +16694449171,96925183234#
  • Or Telephone: Dial:   +1 669 444 9171 US, +1 719 359 4580, +1 253 205 0468, +1 305 224 1968, +1 309 205 3325,+1 360 209 5623, +1 386 347 5053, +1 507 473 4847, +1 564 217 2000, +1 646 931 3860, +1 689 278 1000

Webinar ID: 969 2518 3234


The Zoom session will also be recorded and posted on the HDOA website.

Questions regarding the application process may addressed to HDOA’s Market Development Branch at 808-973-9594 or email:

Last year’s program received 7,400 applications, of which 579 were awarded, ranging from $750 to $5,000 and totaling about $2.6 million.

Examples of proposals that were funded in last year’s round included projects for:

  • fencing to protect crops and seedlings from axis deer damage;
  • purchasing of seeds and tree crops;
  • purchasing of soil amendments, compost, tools, and irrigation systems;
  • refrigeration/freezing capacity and canning supplies for food preservation;
  • purchasing of garden towers and raised beds for vegetable production;
  • building shade houses, aquaponic, hydroponic and aeroponic systems; and
  • constructing poultry coops.

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