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Food Security Grant

Guidelines

Required Documents

IRS Tax Exemption Letter

12-Month Statements of Revenues and Expenses

Bids for Project Services/Products (if applicable) 

Budget Summary 

Implementation Schedule

 

Food Security Grant
The food security grant program has been established to reduce food insecurity within the Arctic Slope region of Alaska. Funded by the Arctic Slope Community Foundation (The Foundation), the program distributes grant funding to food banks, pantries, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters within the Arctic Slope region. 


Grant Eligibility 
The food security grant is available to organizations within the Arctic Slope region that have been determined by the IRS to be section 501(c)(3) charities.  501(c)(3) charities include universities, museums, libraries, and performing arts organizations that pursue scholarly, cultural, and charitable missions.  The Foundation also issues grants to city and federally-recognized tribal governments. Organizations must be located in the Arctic Slope of Alaska. Funding is available for the purchase of food for community distribution at food banks in Arctic Slope communities. 


Public Outreach
Outreach is an important component of the food security grant to ensure that the community is aware of the program and has access to its services for all community members in need. Word of mouth and program bulletins should not be the sole or primary method of publicity. Notices in local newspapers, social media platforms, posters, pamphlets, newsletters, websites, or other electronic media should be utilized to make potential clients aware of available services and days/hours of operation.

Client Service

  • Food pantries must serve any eligible client regardless of tribal and regional affiliation, race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity.

  • Eligible clients are entitled to service at least once per distribution opening.

  • Food pantries must be open to clients during established distribution times. Pantries may not require clients to make appointments for service.

  • Pantries may not require clients to be referred from another agency. A referral suggests that eligibility standards other than food security grant eligibility standards determine a client's entitlement to service. Requiring a referral is prohibited.

  • Pantries must display their operating days and times. The schedule must be in clear view of the public at all times.

  • Food distribution sites must not charge any fees or require membership or organizational affiliation as a condition for receipt of commodities. Nor must the site require or conduct activities that might be interpreted as requiring membership or affiliation in any organization (church, political, fraternal, union, block club, etc.) or attendance of the same as a requisite for receipt of commodities.

  • Pantries are allowed to require recipients to volunteer 1 hour a month as a show of gratitude for their services, but not make it a requirement. If the pantries elect to require volunteering, they must require that at every distribution.

 

Management of Grant Funds
The Foundation's award letter specifies the terms of the grant, including the use of grant funds, reporting schedule, and the need to adhere to Foundation grantmaking policies. All grant funds should be managed prudently and should be used for the purposes outlined in the award letter and approved proposal.  The Foundation considers interest and investment income earned on grants to be part and parcel of the award.  


Use of Grant Funds 
Food security grant funds must only be used to purchase nutritious foods for distribution by community food banks. Guidelines for eligible food purchased can be found on the USDA Foods Available List for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). 

Additionally, food security grant funds may not be expended on:

  • Project costs incurred before the grant start date; 

  • Religious indoctrination or other religious activities; 

  • Endowment building; 

  • Deficit financing;

  • Lobbying, electioneering, and activities of political nature;

  • Ads, sponsorships, or special events;

  • Proposals that discriminate on race, gender, marital status, sexual preference, age, disability, creed, or ethnicity;

  • Activities that have the potential to support terrorism;

  • Direct Fundraising, including hiring a grant writer;

  • Construction or the purchase of real property;

  • Core government or organizational programs or services;

  • Personnel Costs*;

  • Direct program costs.


*In selected cases, projects undertaken by organizations that normally fall outside the above guidelines may be able to receive funding. Examples include religious organizations whose proposal affects the broader community; or units of government whose proposal extends beyond the traditional governmental functions that impact the broader community.


Food security grant funds cannot be used as collateral, to offset other financial obligations (including interest payments on lines of credit, and securing or servicing debt), nor to meet cash-flow or general operating expenses that are unrelated to the purpose of the grant as defined in the grant award letter.

Food Storage
Pantries must follow the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) accepted storage standards.

  • Food must be at least 4 inches away from walls, 6 inches off the floor, and elevated high enough to allow for proper pest control and ventilation;

  • Provide a two-foot ceiling clearance to avoid high temperatures at the ceiling;

  • Keep floor, pallets, storage, and shelving clean;

  • Keep non-food items separate from food;

  • Dry and refrigerated commodities must be rotated to ensure the quality and freshness of food;

  • A pest control system must be in place. Sites must have a qualified person on staff or contract with a professional exterminator and a log must be maintained;

  • Store food away from direct sunlight;

  • Refrigerated foods must be kept between 35 and 40 degrees;

  • Frozen foods must be stored at a temperature below 0 degrees; and 

  • Refrigerators and freezers must have working thermometers to verify temperatures.


Monitoring
The Foundation may periodically monitor distribution sites. Monitoring results are given to the distribution site respective, which will review the results and resolve any issues with the distribution site. Monitoring results may also be discussed with site personnel before the conclusion of the monitoring visit.


A Foundation representative may visit your distribution site during service hours. While the Foundation may share an annual monitoring schedule with food banks of sites to be monitored, during the fiscal year. Foundation representatives are not required to announce their visits ahead of time. Pantry personnel must provide the Foundation representative with access to all records and parts of their facility that concern food distribution/service. All program personnel and volunteers must be informed at the distribution site, that the Foundation representative has the authority to inspect food storage and distribution facilities. Pantries that deny a Foundation representative access to food storage and distribution areas or are unable to supply pertinent information may have their food security grant canceled.


Reporting 
The Foundation requires timely and informative monthly grant reporting.  Monthly reports should be submitted through the Foundation’s application portal on or before the due dates specified in the reporting schedule.  The Foundation may suspend grant activities and require the return of funds for delinquent or unsatisfactory reporting and will consider reporting history in the awarding of future grants.


Narrative reports should describe the activities undertaken and the use of grant funds, and evaluate the progress made toward achieving the purposes of the grant during the reporting period.  Financial reports should be specific to the food security grant.  If an organization has multiple grants from the Foundation, each grant must be separately reported.  


In addition to financial information and a narrative report, food pantry personnel must report the following information to ASCF every month:

  • Number of households served; 

  • Total number of adult recipients; and

  • Total number of minor recipients (children ages 18 years of age or younger).


To remain compliant and continue to receive grant funding, the grant awardee must submit a monthly report due on the 15th day of the month following the award period: 


Reporting Period        Report Due Date
January                           February 15
February                         March 15
March                               April 15
April                                   May 15
May                                    June 15
June                                 July 15
July                                   August 15
August                             September 15
September                     October 15
October                           November 15
November                      December 15
December                      January 15