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WSDA now offering grants for food assistance organizations

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) Food Assistance Program is now accepting applications for the Flexible Funding grants, a new grant program to support Washington’s diverse hunger relief network.

WSDA distributes millions of dollars annually through its Food Assistance programs, contracting with hunger relief organizations and Tribes in all 39 counties to deliver government-funded food assistance resources across the state. These include both state funds and federal funds as well as commodities from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The new WSDA Flexible Funding grants are funded by $4 million available from an appropriation provided by the state Legislature during the 2021 session and the USDA. The grant is open to all food assistance organizations statewide, whether they currently contract with WSDA to distribute food or not. Applications are being accepted now through November 15.

“The COVID-19 pandemic greatly increased the need for food assistance statewide and that increased need continues to this day,” WSDA director Derek Sandison said. “The Flexible Funding grants are one way WSDA can assist the state’s hunger relief safety net and broaden our work to reach as many people as possible, thanks to the support of the state Legislature for this grant and other hunger relief efforts.”

The Flexible Funding grants program will fund eligible projects in three categories:

Making food distribution more efficient:  Projects that improve access to nutritious, culturally relevant foods through staff support or training, capacity improvements, or equipment purchasing.

Targeted community needs: Available to organizations supporting historically underrepresented communities, service programs, or that address current and emerging community needs.

Pilot projects, innovations, and food system improvements: Intended to help improve local food systems by funding pilot projects, an innovative program, or supporting local agriculture or businesses.

Grant awards will range from below $5,000 to over $50,000. Visit for more information on the Flexible Funding grants, including how to apply, eligibility requirements and more.