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City Of Newark

920 Broad Street, Newark, NJ, 07102, US



Nourishing Newark 2022 - City of Newark


Nourishing Newark Community Grants Program – Round 1


IMPORTANT - Please DO NOT contact 973-733-4311 or listed in the right-hand column. This number and email is reserved for general citywide inquiries only.


For assistance and any other inquiries regarding the Nourishing Newark Community Grants Program, please email A written response to all incoming questions will be posted to within two business days of receipt. Thank you.


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Application Number

You will be provided with a Application Number upon submission.


The COVID-19 crisis has devastated communities nationwide. In an effort to help Newark households who may be experiencing food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Newark, under Mayor Ras J. Baraka’s leadership, is providing financial help to qualifying organizations using funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

The City of Newark created the Nourishing Newark Community Grants Program to support community-based organizations in the City of Newark that are combating hunger resulting from the adverse economic impacts related to COVID-19, and coalitions advancing sustainable food system policy in an effort to eradicate food deserts negatively impacting our community.

The City of Newark invites nonprofit and for-profit organizations, schools, and houses of worship to support the municipality in administering a suite of interrelated programs and initiatives designed to combat food insecurity and provide low-income households with direct access to fresh, locally-grown produce.

The Nourishing Newark Community Grants Program aims to provide a minimum of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and a maximum of three hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($350,000) per year to qualifying organizations.  Proceeds of the grant can be utilized at the grantee’s discretion to fund expenses such as accounts payable, payroll, inventory, equipment, utilities, rent or mortgage payments.

Grant approval and disbursement of grant funds are subject to funding availability. The information you provide will help the City of Newark determine your organization’s eligibility for funding. 

Background & Context

The COVID-19 pandemic compounded existing economic hardship to individuals and households. With the great disruptions to the global economy, many low-income Newark families are experiencing a greater degree of food insecurity than ever before. Anecdotally, we understand that many more households have found themselves in need of food assistance resources in recent years, as compared to the years before the pandemic. 

This trend was true for communities throughout the United States, leading the federal government to center direct household assistance in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The U.S. Treasury has allocated funding for food assistance, which allow ARP recipients to administer food insecurity programs through a wide range of entities, including nonprofit and for-profit entities.

Meanwhile, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has undertaken a Food Desert Relief Program designed around the central purpose of eradicating food deserts. A “food desert” is a geographical area in which it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food. In developing their programmatic focus, the NJEDA has determined that a large portion of the City of Newark to be considered a “Food Desert.” Here are some of the factors that went into making their list: poverty, CDC Modified Retail Food Environment Index, USDA Low Access Score, supermarket access, SNAP enrollment, vehicle access, 2020 Municipal Revitalization Index Score, unemployment rate, obesity rate, density (population). To review map of approved food deserts in Newark, and throughout New Jersey, please click here (

The Nourishing Newark Community Grants Program is a local funding opportunity developed to convene multiple sectors (non-profit organizations, for-profit entities, schools, urban farmers, community gardeners and others) to work collectively and pool resources to more effectively fight food insecurity in our community. The purpose of this grant is to spur the creation of sustainable urban food cooperatives, and community-based healthy food distribution channels. The ultimate outcome of the Nourishing Newark Community Grants Program is to both combat both food insecurity and improve resident’s access to quality, fresh and locally-grown food. 

Nourishing Newark Focus Areas

The ideal proposed project incorporates elements of all three of the grant focus areas listed below.  

Growing & Urban Agriculture 

This funding category helps community-based growers, urban farmers and gardeners in Newark to 1) expand or significantly improve their production of fresh, healthy food and 2) make it available to families experiencing food insecurity, either directly or through partner relationships with pantries and other free or low-cost distribution entities. In doing so, we hope that local growers will both help to combat hunger in our communities while also improving the local skills base around sustainable urban agriculture beyond the one-time influx of grant funding. 

Activities can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Expanding growing operations at existing community gardens and urban farms
  • Installation of school-based gardens, and healthy food connection to school-based learning
  • Garden-based, grower-led education around healthy eating and lifestyles
  • Rainwater harvesting and collection, installation of water lines, irrigation systems, etc. 
  • On-site storage, washing/preparation equipment, including refrigeration units, where feasible

Regular Community Distribution

This funding category helps ensures regular community access to free, fresh produce. The applicants will ensure that their nonprofit, school or co-op is engaged in the regular (weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc.) distribution that eliminates barriers (e.g., lack of access, lack of transportation options, limited mobility, lack of awareness of healthy foods).

Applicants must show their entity already engages and or proposed to launch efforts in activities such as (not limited to) the following:

  • Community-led Free Food Fridges
  • Program that link pantries to local growers, and vice versa
  • Establishing recurring/consistent distribution strategy and schedule
  • Farmer’s Market operations & accessibility improvements (including, technology solutions to ensure SNAP/WIC and incentive programs are available payment options)
  • Fresh food incentive programs at corner stores and other food retailers in food deserts
  • Establishing neighborhood-based low-cost fruit & vegetable carts
  • Bicycle-based or Food Truck Fresh Food Delivery Services
  • Dedicated transportation and/or delivery services for community members with limited mobility, access and functional needs, or otherwise home-bound (including those required to quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure)
  • Installation and/or expansion of cold storage at food pantries to expand fresh food options
  • Establishment or expansion of cooperative markets, or other food retail services that provide low-cost or subsidized fresh food access to low-income individuals and households

Training & Community Education 

This grant category seeks to leverage and multiply the knowledge base and expertise of Newark’s rich network of urban growers and sustainable food experts. It is the intention of the City of Newark to support efforts that link growers with other sectors of the community, such as schools and social services nonprofits, in order to raise awareness around urban farming and encourage families to become urban gardeners. Activities can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Providing workshops and training activities around local farming
  • Exposing community to culturally-appropriate healthy cuisine and food preparation
  • Engaging in environmentally-friendly agriculture practices (i.e., soil and water conservation, micro composting, etc.)
  • Workshops and activities focused on building a culture of health, esp. as it relates to using nutrition to improve disparity in chronic disease and other community health outcomes
  • Customized support for school-based gardens to connect school programming with urban farms, community gardens and food co-ops.

The Nourishing Newark Community Grants Program seeks to provide funding for a variety of programs and initiatives, ranging for hyper-local free food programs to city-wide urban agriculture growing and distribution efforts. We anticipate funding a total of 12-20 projects, reflecting a mix of one-year and two-year projects and programs, including 1-2 awardees seeking up to $350,000 per year, 3-5 projects seeking up to $150,000 in annual funding, and several smaller projects with annual program costs ranging from $10,000 to $50,000.

Application Guidelines & Timeline

If you represent an eligible entity within the City of Newark and your organization is expanding your programming related to either combat both food insecurity and/or improve resident’s access to healthy produce in response to the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, you may be eligible to apply for grant funding. The Nourishing Newark Community Grants Program defines eligible entity as any organization that meets the following conditions:

  • Have a physical establishment and/or programmatic focus to residents of Newark.
  • Have programming dedicated to combating food deserts, improving fresh/healthy food access (esp. in EDA-identified food deserts), and/or providing food assistance to households experiencing food insecurity due to COVID-19.
  • Have no threatening or pending litigation or material-contingent obligation against the applicant. 

We invite you to submit an application if you have read the qualifying criteria carefully. Only eligible Newark organizations will be considered. You should be prepared to submit the following documentation in order for your application to be deemed complete.

  • Section I. Proposal Cover Sheet
  • Section II. Proposal Narrative 
  • Section III. Required Forms (Budget Worksheet, Detailed Work Plan, Organizational Documentation, Letter(s) of Support)

For your convenience, proof of documentation, as required by this application, must be uploaded to through this application portal. Documentation must be complete and legible; no documentation should be emailed.  

For any assistance or inquiries regarding this application, please email  

  • You may qualify for a minimum of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and a maximum of three hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($350,000) per year
  • Applicants may propose projects requesting either one-year or two-years of grant funding.
  • The Application period will begin on February 17, 2022 at 5:00 PM EST
  • The Application period will close on March 17 212022 at 5:00 PM EST (PLEASE NOTE NEW DEADLINE)
  • Applications will be reviewed on or before March 30, 2022, with award announcements being made in April 2022

No applications shall be accepted in-person or via email. Applications are complete when all questions are answered and supporting documentation is received online. Information provided on documents must match the information provided in the application. Decisions are based on eligibility, criteria met, and availability of funds.  All questions marked with an asterisk (*) require an answer, and the application is not considered complete until each question is answered and all attachments are uploaded.

Evaluation Criteria

The process for reviewing Nourishing Newark Community Grants Program proposals is designed to ensure efficiency and standardize the evaluation of proposals. The Nourishing Newark Community Grants Program Selection Committee intends to ensure transparency and delivered unbiased recommendations to the City of Newark for approval of awards to the selected public, private, and non-profit partners. Before submitting a proposal, organizations should consider the following:

  • Whether the proposed activities or services meet at least one of the Nourishing Newark Focus Areas (described above);
  • Applicant’s capacity to complete the requested forms and submit the required documentation by the March 17, 2022 deadline;
  • Capacity to deliver proposed projects, activities, or services and meet expected program outcomes and deliverables;
  • Ability to comply with municipal and federal standards related to the American Rescue Plan Act program; and
  • Current standing with the City of Newark, including performance on grants from previous programs years, and status of accounts with the Departments of Water and Sewer Utility, Division of Revenue Collection, and Special Taxes.


Evaluation Criteria


In order to deem a proposal complete and to be considered, all application responses must be complete and submitted via the City of Newark website by the March 17, 2022 deadline. A complete application includes ALL requested forms and documentation.


All complete and timely applications that are determined eligible for American Rescue Plan funding and that meet Nourishing Newark program objectives will be evaluated using the following criteria:


Threshold Criteria


Applicants and applications must meet the following minimum requirements in order to receive funding.


  • Good Standing with City: These requirements are described above. Good standing will be verified prior to execution of the funding contract.


  • Good Standing with State and Federal Governments. If the applicant is a corporation or partnership, it must in good standing with the State of New Jersey regarding corporate registration requirements, employee tax withholding and other legal requirements. If the applicant is organized as a tax-exempt nonprofit, its federal tax exemption must be approved and in good standing. An applicant may not be debarred by any federal agency.


  • Benefit to Low and Moderate Income Persons: Proposed activities should benefit at least 51 percent low- and moderate-income persons, or reduce food insecurity in Newark, and/or seek to eradicate food deserts as defined by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.


  • Application requirements. An application must be complete and must conform to all requirements of this call for application in order to be considered.


Scoring Criteria for Applications:


Applications will be ranked and rated based on the following criteria and maximum possible scoring points per criteria, with 100 points possible.


  • Benefit to low- and moderate-income persons. Points will be given to activities that benefit at least 51 percent low- and moderate-income persons. (0-10 points)


  • Activity need. The activity will be evaluated in terms of the documentation and justification of the need for the activity. Activities with excellent documentation and justification will be awarded the maximum points. (0-20 points)


  • Collaboration. Points will be given for a demonstration of collaboration in service delivery through documented evidence, including thorough description of verifiable organizational partnerships and/or contractual agreements in the proposal. Maximum points will be awarded for three or more such collaborations. (0-10 points)


  • Cost reasonableness and effectiveness. The activity will be evaluated in terms of: 1) its impact on the identified need, and 2) its implementation costs and funding request relative to its financial and human resources. Evaluation will include the cost incurred per person per unit, project budget, and the justification for a particular level of funding. (0-5 points)


  • Efforts to secure other funding. Points will be awarded based on the applicant’s documented efforts to secure other funding for the activity. (0-5 points)


  • Activity implementation. Points will be awarded to applicants based on documentation and information provided, showing that the resources, such as funding, staffing, established partnerships, etc., needed to implement the proposed activity are available and ready. Maximum points will be given to activities that are ready to move forward quickly. These criteria take into consideration factors that may accelerate or slow down the ability to implement the activity in a timely manner.(0-10 points)


  • Activity implementation – outcomes. Points will be awarded to applicants based on documentation and information provided that demonstrates what the project will accomplish and how the effectiveness, success, and implementation of the project will be measured. .(0-10 points)


  • Experience. The experience of the applicant, including the length of time in opeartion, qualifications and tenure of project staff, and experience in undertaking projects of similar complexity as the one for which funds are being requested, will be evaluated. (0-10 points)


  • Past performance – organizational evaluation. The applicant will be evaluated in terms of its past performance and business relationship with the City of Newark, including documented reports, recommendations, and input from City of Newark agencies and local non-profits or other organizations that have a prior history of oversight, monitoring, and/or working directly with the applicant. (0-10 points)


  • Activity management. Points will be awarded to applicants based on documentation and information provided, showing that the resources needed to manage the proposed activity are available and ready, and that the commitment for operation and maintenance, where applicable, has been certified. (0-10 points)

We now invite you to begin the application.

Section 1. Proposal Cover Sheet

1. Primary Applicant

Mailing Address

Type of Entity (check one):

2. Project Co-Lead 1 (if applicable)

Mailing Address

Type of Entity (check one)

3. Project Co-Lead 2 (if applicable)

Full Address

Type of Entity (check one):

4. Proposed Grant Recipient

Mailing Address

Type of Entity (check one):

5. Amount of Nourishing Newark Community Grants Program Funding Requested:


6. Amount of Match and Name(s) of matching organization(s) secured, if applicable:

7. Total Project Budget:


8. Project Title:

9. Purpose of Project:

10. Anticipated Program/Project Start Date:

Full Date

11. Anticipated Program/Project Completion Date:

Full Date


Section II. Proposal Narrative

12. Project Overview

Please provide a brief description of your proposed project. Describe in detail how your project will combat food insecurity and provide low-income households with direct access to fresh, locally-grown produce.* Key questions to cover include:

  • How will your project reduce food insecurity and/or improve community access to fresh, locally grown produce?
  • What are the community benefits you anticipate will be created through your project?
  • What negative characteristics does this project help to address? 

13. Project Background

Explain the background of and motivation for this project. Concisely answer:

  • Why this project? Why now? How did it rise to the top of your organization’s priorities?
  • What is the purpose of this project? What will it do? Please identify what specific outputs and outcomes will be achieved.
  • What are the current/existing food insecurity conditions in your project area? Briefly describe the supporting background information and data regarding the community needs this project seeks to address.
  • How does this project build on previous work related to food insecurity and fresh food access?

Service/Project Coverage Area in 2022 (Check all Newark Wards that apply)

Service/Project Coverage Area in 2023 (Check all Newark Wards that apply):

14. Please describe the proposed populations the proposed project seeks to serve.

Is the project located within, or serving persons living within the NJEDA’s identified food deserts (for a map of approved food deserts, please visit

# Target Population by Age

Target Population by Income Range (based on Area Median Income, see chart below)

  • How has the applicant engaged with these audiences to reflect their community’s needs in the proposed project? 
  • Is the site(s) where programs will be provided easily accessible and inviting to community residents?

15. Project Vision for Success

What is the vision for success? What outcomes will be measured?

  • Briefly describe the goals the project seeks to accomplish in terms of positive impacts on individuals in project’s selected service area.
  • Please describe how this project is strategically designed so that outputs produce desired outcomes.
  • Describe how the project’s strategies and activities are thoughtfully and intentionally designed. If evidence exists that the strategies will succeed, cite this here. State how the anticipated outputs will produce the outcomes this project is built to obtain, including how it will advance community social equity.
  • Describe what tools and procedures the organization will use to track the project outcomes. Also describe what methods (if any) will be used to determine the effectiveness of the services in meeting community articulated needs, including surveys to obtain feedback from program participants.
  • Describe obstacles or impediments that the agency encounters or anticipates in being able to effectively and/or efficiently provide services to the target population and how the applicant plans to overcome them. Such barriers include but are not limited to: difficulties in enrolling program participants, challenges in serving community needs, language barriers, and reliability of matching funding.  Responses can identify any challenges that the organization may be experiencing, including, where applicable, but not limited to, financial shortfalls, staff turnover, limited resources of the organization, language barriers, difficulty in marketing or disseminating materials, transportation, limited partners, etc.
  • Describe how program leads will respond to lagging performance, if that were to occur due to internal or external factors.

16. Organizational Capacity and Readiness

Please describe the background and organizational history and mission of the Primary Applicant. Responses can detail but should not be limited to describing the agency’s mission statement, history, expertise, longevity of presence in the community, etc.

Kindly describe projects or activities that are the same as, or similar to, those proposed for funding that are relevant to establishing your organization’s credibility, track record, and ongoing performance in the delivering the proposed services. Describe your readiness to start the proposed activity, in terms of having staffing, facilities and other resources required. Describe any impediments to starting immediately, such as needing to wait for hiring, award of other funding, or similar impediments.

Responses can specify ways in which the agency is using any or all of its resources, such as staff, finances, materials, office space, service locations or facilities, etc. to deliver the proposed project services.

Describe whether or not the organization is in good standing with all federal, state, and local governments, and any pending lawsuit in which the applicant or any of the proposed project staff is either a plaintiff or a defendant.

17. Key project staff, partners, and stakeholders.

Describe the key staff and all key implementation partners collaborating on this project.  Please explain how the project team possesses the right topical knowledge and community presence to effectively execute the proposed project, and how this project advances or established partnerships among the entities listed as co-applicants on this proposal.

Describe the staff’s readiness to undertake the proposed activity. List the names and titles of all key supervisors, project managers, line staff and contracted personnel who will be involved in delivering or supervising the proposed services. For each, briefly describe their academic and professional credentials (degrees, educational certificates, professional certifications) and number of years of experience in delivering the proposed services.

18.  Please describe how this proposal embeds social equity into project outreach and design, and will work to reduce disparities for the most marginalized local communities, especially those pre-identified as food deserts by the NJEDA.

  • Describe how the project is designed to positively address racial or other social disparities concerning food access within the community. List the specific steps that will be taken to reduce these disparities. Where possible and relevant, show how the project design advances:
    • Distributional access. Programs and policies result in fair distributions of benefits and burdens across all segments of a community, prioritizing those with highest need;
    • Procedural inclusion. Inclusive, accessible, authentic engagement and representation in the process occurs to develop or implement plans, programs, and/or policies;
    • Structural accountability. Decision-makers institutionalize accountability; decisions are made with a recognition of the historical, cultural, and institutional dynamics and structures that have routinely advantaged privileged groups in society and resulted in chronic, cumulative disadvantage for subordinated groups; and
    • Transgenerational impact. Decisions consider generational impacts and do not result in unfair burdens on future generation

Identify ways in which the proposed project helps to build local food sovereignty, and increases the dignity of food provision to individuals, families and communities experiencing food insecurity.

Section III. Required Forms

19. Detailed Work Plan

Prepare a work plan that describes the specific activities the agency will undertake to implement the project, its approach to delivering the services, and the number and type of staff and contract service providers that will be employed. Include the proposed start and end dates of the project activities that are proposed in this application.

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20. Budget Worksheet (to be considered complete, applicants must fill out and submit the provided budget worksheet in the link below)

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21. Non-profit or Business Documentation

• Non-profit applicants are required to submit a copy of your Articles of Incorporation, a W-9, and two most recent years of nonprofit tax filings.
• Business applicants are required to submit a New Jersey Business Registration Certificate, W-9, and two most recent years of business tax filings.

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22. Letter(s) of Support, if applicable

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23. Please use this space to upload any additional or supplementary information (i.e., pictures), if applicable.

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