seed grant

HPNAP Seed Grants are start-up grants intended to be used as a “seed” to implement a new or enhanced service to an agency or Emergency Food Relief Organization (EFRO). Seed Grants encourage the development of projects that support innovative ways of confronting emergency food and/or nutrition needs of people who are food insecure.


Seed Grants are based not only on need, but also on eligibility. The following checklist will ensure that your agency is eligible to apply for Seed Grant funding.

    • Applicants are not required to have current FeedMore WNY membership or Contractor membership.
    • If an applicant does not have Contractor membership, by accepting Seed Grant funds, if approved, the applicant agrees to Contractor monitoring and reporting.
    • If an applicant does not have Contractor membership, accepting Seed Grant funds, if approved, does not automatically grant Contractor membership nor future membership.
    • Applicants must operate under their own or an organization’s 501c3 and/or incorporation as a nonprofit organization.
    • If applicant is not an EFRO, some aspect of their agency or program’s current community based work must be to assist low-income, homeless, and/or food insecure individuals.
    • Organizations holding direct contracts with HPNAP (food pantries, soup kitchens, food recovery operations, and special nutrition initiatives) are eligible to apply for Seed Grant funding if the funding is requested to support a NEW project that is not already receiving HPNAP funds.

seed grant funds

Seed Grants award a maximum of $30,000 to reach agency and are ONE-TIME, NON-RENEWABLE awards. EFRO’s or agencies can apply for Seed Grant funding annually if the project description is unique (i.e. different site, different service or target population, or different service plan from a past Seed Grant project.)

fundable projects

Seed Grant fundable proposals include the following categories. FeedMore WNY may specify specific preferred projects that applicants can decide to apply for. Please note, submission of a Seed Grant application does not guarantee that the total funding request(s) will be granted.

A. Resource Enhancement and Community Partnerships:

    • Projects that increase or enhance emergency food resources or create a diversified resource base through community partnerships.
    • Examples of community partnerships include projects to develop and/or utilize food growers, farmers’ markets, community and urban garden programs, or other community resources.

B. Organizational Capacity and Effectiveness:

    • Projects that increase organizational capacity and effectiveness to provide emergency food services and access to healthy foods.
    • Examples are projects that provide resources, technical assistance and/or training to emergency food relief organizations for fundraising, bookkeeping, volunteer services or other areas specific to emergency food services.

C. Link to Services

    • Projects that can link emergency food providers and their clients to services that could reduce dependence on emergency food.
    • Examples include projects to expand outreach referral services to connect at risk individuals to medical care, social services, technology, or training programs to create links and increase personal resources.

application submissions

Click here to download the 2024-2025 Seed Grant application!

awarded agencies

For those that were awarded 2023-2024 Seed Grant funding, proof of expenses are due to Shawn Schlifke by June 1, 2024.

contact information

For questions regarding this grant opportunity, please contact:

Shawn Schlifke
Partner Services Coordinator
Phone: (716) 822-2005 ext. 3036