Durbin Announces $5 Million in USDA Funding Available for Hunger Relief

Durbin authored legislation created first of its kind grant program in 2007

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has made $5 million in grant funding available for investment in research, planning and various hunger relief activities to help end hunger in America.  Legislation authored by Senator Durbin and included in the 2007 Farm Bill created the new Hunger-Free Communities grant program which aims to assess hunger in individual communities, promote cooperation and collaboration among local anti-hunger groups and expand the efforts and infrastructure of local anti-hunger groups.

“Currently, one in ten households in Illinois worry about whether they will have enough food for their families,” said Durbin.  “With $5 million this year in additional resources, we hope to change that.  I encourage all eligible organizations in Illinois to apply for this funding as soon as possible.”

Through the grant program, the USDA is seeking strategies that support the creation of Hunger-Free Communities by funding activities including food distribution, community outreach, resource development and other methods to make food more accessible to those most in need.   Of the $5 million available, $1 million will fund Planning and Assessment Grants to evaluate food insecurity in communities and develop strategies to become hunger-free.  The remaining $4 million will fund Implementation Grants for communities that already have a plan to end hunger and need resources for program implementation.

The grants are available to public and not-for-profit organizations and require collaboration with one or more community partners.  Grant applications may be submitted through www.grants.gov.  For more information about the USDA’s nutrition assistance programs visit: www.fns.usda.gov.