The Food Desert Agriculture Matching Grant Program is funded through the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Projects should address the issue of food insecurity by assisting with projects aimed to alleviate food deserts in either urban or rural areas throughout the state of Missouri. Eligible projects must benefit residents in a food desert. USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) defines a food desert using low-income and low-access thresholds:

  • Criteria for identifying a census tract as low income: a poverty rate of 20 percent or greater, or a median family income at or below 80 percent of the statewide or metropolitan area median family income.
  • Low access within a census tract: in an urban setting, at least 500 people and/or at least 33 percent of a population residing more than a half mile from a supermarket. In rural areas, the distance is more than 10 miles.
  • Vehicle access: low income census tract where at least 100 households are more than a half mile from a supermarket and have no access to a vehicle.

USDA Food Desert Map

Click here to navigate USDA’s Food Desert Map. The Department will be using the most inclusive definition of a food desert by USDA, so please be sure to select all four boxes in the top right corner to generate an accurate map. Projects that reside within a food desert will be given priority ranking for this grant.

Please check:

  • LI and LA at 1 and 10 miles
  • LI and LA ½ and 10 miles
  • LI and LA at 1 and 20 miles
  • LI and LA using vehicle access

This is a competitive grant program and funds may be used to:

  • Increase food production and availability within a food insecure area
  • Demonstrate growth of local economic communities
  • Increase local economic impact
  • Increase the availability of food to local residents
  • Enhance already established areas within a community and provide assistance to the community

Examples of eligible expenses:

  • Project-approved supplies
  • Reconstruction of facilities
  • Expansion of current facilities
  • Feasibility study

Examples of ineligible expenses:

  • Food purchase
  • Fuel expenses
  • Salaries/payroll for employees
  • Donations/contributions to fundraisers
  • Supplies/expenses not previously approved
  • Vehicles
  • Building lease costs

General Information and Submission Guidelines

Program funds available:
Maximum award amount:
Deadline for submission:
Anticipated award date:
Reimbursement requests must be received by:

up to $200,000
$25,000
November 29, 2019
December 13, 2019
May 1, 2020

Matching Requirements

  • Applicant must provide at minimum a $.25:$1 match for the project
  • Matching funds can be cash and in-kind. A cash match must be greater than 50% of the total match for eligibility.

Successful applicants must submit ALL required completed documentation including detailed paid receipts/invoices, final report and completion notice no later than May 1, 2020. Reimbursements will only be made for expenditures accrued during the grant period and for receipts submitted for approved project. Invoices must show a $0 balance and proof of payment. Receipts must include purchase details.

Projects must be ready for inspection and inspected by Missouri Department of Agriculture staff prior to reimbursement of any funds. Project inspections will be completed by June 1, 2020.

Available funds are for the current 2020 fiscal year. Failure to complete documentation by May 1, 2020, will result in the forfeiture of funds.

Applications may be submitted to:
Missouri Department of Agriculture – Food Desert Agriculture Matching Grants
Ag Business Development
Attn: Rachel Heimericks
P.O. Box 630
Jefferson City, MO 65102
FAX: (573) 751-2868
Or electronically to:
Rachel.Heimericks@mda.mo.gov

Required Documentation