CARES Act Community Development Block Grant

BACKGROUND

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation is partnering with the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development to administer the CARES Act Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-CV) Food Security Program in Berkshire County.

BTCF is one of more than a dozen community foundations across the state that will re-grant funds to local or regional community-based organizations with the capacity to efficiently provide immediate relief and support for individuals and families.

These one-time grants are intended to direct vital resources to individuals and households experiencing food insecurity as a result of COVID-19.

ELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS

Qualified 501(c)(3) organizations working on food security in Berkshire County are eligible to apply for these grants. This could include, but is not limited to, food banks or pantries; food delivery and/or pickup programs; food suppliers and other food access programs; or other services to provide food to income-eligible individuals and households.

ELIGIBLE PROJECTS

COVID-19 and the economic effects of the pandemic has resulted in an increased demand for food provision services among Berkshire County residents. This grant program is intended to help organizations with food provision programs make needed capital investments and improve the efficiency of program delivery.

Grants will be made for capital expenses and projects aimed at expanding and/or improving the capacity of food provision programs to deliver services and address food security needs related to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible projects include refrigerators, freezers, refrigerated trucks, forklifts, shelving, etc. Capital expenses may not be used for improvements to a property or building, also known as “bricks and mortar.”

AWARDS

Grants will range up to $200,000.

REQUIREMENTS

Each project funded must be able to demonstrate that at least 51% of the persons being provided assistance qualify as having low or moderate income (up to 80% of area median income).

Activities must meet applicable CDBG-CV requirements, which includes that grantees use the funding to support a public service by either:

  • Establishing a new service; or
  • Expanding a program that results in a quantifiable increase in the level of a service above that which has been provided as a result of COVID-19. This requirement is intended to prevent the substitution of CDBG funds from this grant program for other recent grants using local or state funds for public services provided by the grant recipient..

In addition, qualified 501(c)(3) organizations applying must:

  • Have a history of serving those experiencing food insecurity in Berkshire County
  • Have a history of serving low-income and historically under-resourced communities
  • Have a history of serving populations whose economic hardship has been exacerbated by COVID-19
  • Demonstrate that their numbers they are serving have increased due to the pandemic and will continue their food programs over 18 months
  • Have the ability to conduct outreach to identify individuals and households that qualify for assistance; and
  • Have the ability to adhere to reporting requirements of a CDBG-CV grant, including a monthly report to: contract, reporting requirement document, self-certification and duplication of benefits certification. Please note: These documents are provided here as examples only. Organizations that complete a letter of intent and are selected to apply will be required to adhere to these reporting requirements.
  • Have the ability to be part of a reimbursement grant program, or provide evidence of costs that will be incurred. For example, applicants may:
    1. Complete the purchase of items and materials for their project and request reimbursement through this grant program, or
    2. Provide invoices for items and materials that have not yet been purchased, and request funding through this grant program to pay those invoices.

APPLICATION PROCESS AND PROJECT TIMELINE

Letters of Intent and Applications

Letters of intent will be accepted on a rolling basis until all funds are expended. Prospective applicants are asked to email to Emily Bronson prior to submitting a letter of intent.

The letter will include the following items:

  • A brief summary of how the project meets eligibility for the grant program as described above, and
  • A brief overview of the proposed capital project, which will include a project description; a cost estimate; an estimate of how the increased capacity through the completion of this capital project will enable the organization to serve more people and/or more efficiently serve the increase demand for existing services due to the pandemic; an estimate of the number of people served; and the estimated timeline for execution.

Letters of intent (LOI) will be reviewed using the following criteria:

  • Ability of the proposed project to fulfill all requirements of the grant criteria and focus on capital needs
  • Ability of the project to specifically address the need for food through services and programs due to COVID-19 and to serve over 51% of persons being aided as living up to 80% AMI
  • Impact of the proposed project on the intended population it seeks to support
  • Administrative capacity of the organization to fulfill CDBG-CV grant requirements, including all reporting data

Successful LOI applicants will be invited to submit a full application and attend an informational session.

Project Timeline

Funded activities must conclude by March 31, 2023.

County

Berkshire

Interest Area

Health & Human Services

Grant Amount

Up to $200,000

Deadline

Rolling until all funds are expended

How To Apply

Prospective applicants are asked to email Emily Bronson prior to developing a letter of intent.

Apply