U.S. Department of Agriculture
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) fosters positive youth development, supports rural and community development efforts, and promotes healthy eating and nutrition. USDA also houses the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), and Rural Development.
Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services funding opportunities
The Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services (FNCS) mission is to Increase food security and reduce hunger in partnership with cooperating organizations by providing children and low-income people access to food, a healthful diet, and nutrition education in a manner that supports American agriculture and inspires public confidence.
National Institute of Food and Agriculture funding opportunities
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) provides leadership and funding for programs that advance agriculture-related sciences.
Rural Development funding opportunities
Rural Development publishes Notices of Solicitation of Applications (NOSAs) or Notices of Funding Availability in the Federal Register. NOSAs provide program information organized in a consistent way to easily and quickly find information regarding Rural Development Opportunities.
Selected Programs and Initiatives
- 4-H Youth Development Program uses research-based programming around positive youth development and gives youth the hands-on real world experience they need to become leaders.
- Child and Adult Care Food Program provides nutritious meals and snacks to children in childcare centers, at-risk after-school programs, emergency shelters, and nonresidential adult day care centers.
- Children, Youth and Families at Risk Program (CYFAR) supports comprehensive, intensive, community-based programs developed with active citizen participation in all phases. CYFAR promotes building resiliency and protective factors in youth, families, and communities.
- Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program helps people acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and changed behavior necessary to employ nutritionally sound diets, to contribute to their personal development, and to improve total family diet and nutritional well-being.
- National School Lunch Program provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions.
- Community Facilities Loans and Grants provide loans, grants, and loan guarantees for projects to develop essential community facilities for public use in rural areas.
- Summer Food Service Program provides nutritious foods during the summer months, filling the gap when children don’t have access to free and reduced lunch through their schools.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which was previously known as “food stamps,” provides low-income households with electronic benefits they can use like cash at most grocery stores. Locate a local SNAP office, and learn how to apply for SNAP benefits.
Clearinghouses and Technical Assistance
- Children, Youth, and Families Education and Research Network (CYFERnet) is a national network of land-grant university faculty and county extension educators working to provide resources to community educational programs for children, youth, and families. Through CYFERnet, all land-grant universities submit publications, quality research information, and program materials for Children, Youth, and Families at Risk staff and others implementing programs.
- Nutrition Education Materials from FNS are designed to educate low-income individuals about the nutrition benefits of SNAP and encourage participation. Materials include posters, brochures, flyers, guidebooks, and handouts. Many materials are available in a low literacy format in English and Spanish. All materials are free.