For Partners & Providers

Grant Opportunities

Overview

Project Bread offers a variety of funding opportunities for anti-hunger organizations and food assistance providers in Massachusetts. Explore current funding opportunities below. 

Current Funding Opportunities

Project Bread is pleased to offer a grant opportunity for school districts currently providing free school meals for all students through the USDA Seamless Summer Option (SSO) under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) to support increased participation, capacity and quality of meal programs throughout Massachusetts for the 21-22 school year.

All applications must be submitted by December 15, 2021

The goal of this grant program is to support districts in maximizing participation in school meal programs during the 2021-22 school year. Applicants should clearly demonstrate how the grant will help them to serve more students or sustain a high existing participation rate.

Applicants are eligible for grants of up to $2,000 for a single school or up to a maximum of $6,000 per district for a proposal that will impact 3 or more schools. Proposals may be focused on specific schools or on the entire school district. 

 

Background

Project Bread ensures reliable access to food for Massachusetts residents through policy and programmatic solutions. For over twenty years, Project Bread has worked with Massachusetts communities to increase participation in school and summer child nutrition programs through the Child Nutrition Outreach Program, in partnership with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

Project Bread’s Child Nutrition team provides technical assistance, outreach and marketing, grants, and innovative solutions to support school districts that are implementing, improving and expanding their school meal programs. Our goal is to ensure that all children in Massachusetts have reliable access to food.

 

Eligibility

  • Any existing Massachusetts school district currently serving free school meals to all students through the National School Lunch Program’s Seamless Summer Option (SSO).

  • Preference will be given to districts with higher levels of free/reduced eligibility.

 

Award Range and Allowable Expenses

  • Applicants are eligible for grants of up to $2,000 for a single school or up to a maximum of $6,000 per district for a proposal that will impact 3 or more schools. Proposals may be focused on specific schools or on the entire school district. 

  • Grant funds may be used for food preparation/storage/serving equipment, staff appreciation apparel that increases staff morale/equipment that eases and expedites staff work (for example, prep tables, carts, food processors, mixers, packaging machines, etc.) or promotion/marketing expenses. 

  • Funds may not be used for retroactive expenses incurred prior to receipt of grant award.

  • Funds may not be used for food costs or for non-durable disposable supplies, paper products, etc.

  • Monetary awards are accompanied by comprehensive technical assistance and support.

 

Funding Priorities

The goal of this grant program is to support districts in maximizing participation in school meal programs during the 2021-22 school year. Applicants should clearly demonstrate how the grant will help them to serve more students or sustain a high existing participation rate.

  • For many districts, this year is the first year of being able to serve free meals to all students while children are learning in school. It may be that the participation growth as a result of universal free meals has stretched capacity, and certain equipment is needed to meet the demand. This grant seeks to assist districts in meeting this demand so as to comfortably sustain the increase and have the capacity to serve more and more students.

  • For districts/schools who have had universal free school meals in place prior to COVID-19 via enrollment in CEP or Provision 2, the current supply chain and staffing challenges may be making it difficult to grow participation. This grant seeks to help with equipment or staff support needs so that participation can increase.

  • While there can be many methods of increasing participation, some examples of well-documented strategies include: implementation or expansion of Breakfast After the Bell models to increase access to and ease of participating in school breakfast, increasing production of scratch-cooked menu items that are appealing to students and families, and improved outreach and marketing of school meal programs.

 

Criteria Used for Grant Review

  • All applications will be reviewed using the following criteria:

  • Level of need within the district as described in the application and as demonstrated by percent of children eligible for free and reduced price meals

  • Existing resources available within the community to meet the need

  • Strength of applicant’s proposed plans for increasing participation / sustaining a high participation rate within their district. 

  • Enrollment size of district / school(s) included in application.

  • Applicant’s track record of reporting, responsiveness and ability to achieve measurable results

  • Applicant’s commitment to provide services that support their clients’ dignity and rights

 

Application Process and Deadlines

  • All applications must be submitted by December 15, 2021. Complete and accurate application materials must be received by the deadline in order to be considered for funding.
  • Apply for the grant online through Project Bread's grant portal. If this is your first time applying for a grant with Project Bread, please create a new account. If you have previously applied for grants with us, please use the same email address as before. If you have forgotten your account password, please contact cnop@projectbread.org
  • Applicants that have not recently or previously applied to Project Bread’s Child Nutrition Grant Programs are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Please feel free to contact us (cnop@projectbread.org) as you complete your application if you would like technical assistance in deciding which Breakfast After the Bell models would work best for your schools or for advice with program expansion planning.

 

Program and Reporting Requirements

  • Completion of a mid-term data report and final grant report is required, including data on number of children served and number of meals served.

  • Funds must be spent by June 30th, 2021. Grantees must contact Project Bread immediately if the funds will not be fully spent or if grantees wish to spend on something other than what was approved in the grant approval process.

 

Contact Information

Please contact the Child Nutrition Outreach Program at cnop@projectbread.org or at 617-239-2543 with any questions or if you have difficulty submitting your application.

Apply for Funding

Applications for funding are submitted and reviewed in our Online Community Grant Portal. If you have never requested funding from Project Bread using this portal, you will need to set up an account as a "New Applicant." Before applying, please carefully read the instructions below:

How to start a new application

  1. Review the funding opportunities and follow the link provided to the onilne grant application. 
  2. New to Project Bread's Online Community Grant Portal? Set up an account as a "New Applicant" or login using your credentials. 
  3. Complete and submit or use the "Save and Finish Later" feature, You can return to your application at any time to complete it, following the below instructions. 

How to return to a saved application

  1. Do not go back to the application link in the accordions, this will start a new application. 
  2. Go to My Account Page to access your previously started application. 
  3. Don't see the application you started? On the right-hand side of the screen, a drop-down menu says "Show". Select "In Progress Applications" from the drop-down menu (not "Submitted Applications"). 

Community Partnerships

To lift up local solutions, we've formed strategic partnerships with lead local organizations in ten target Massachusetts towns, supporting each with a $25,000 grant.

Learn More