World Central Kitchen has announced the opening of a new call to apply for financial grants and technical assistance from the organization’s Plow to Plate support platform launched in 2018.
The application and submission cycle to request funds and technical training begins March 15 and closes April 15, 2019, the nonprofit said.
The program will evaluate diverse projects in Puerto Rico, ranging from smallholder farmers and agribusinesses currently in production, to food distributors, related vendors and/or food suppliers. Plow to Plate will also evaluate community-based and educational projects related to food production, food security, and nutrition.
“This new call for applications will allow us to support and strengthen the agricultural ecosystem of Puerto Rico and the food industry’s value chain throughout its various stages: from maximizing and increasing local farms and harvests engaged in
sustainable practices, to improving the network of distributors that will facilitate supplying households with fresh local produce, generating higher sales for small business, and contributing to reducing the high food insecurity that exists on the island”, said Mikol Hoffman, WCK’s program manager in Puerto Rico.
Plow to Plate hopes to open two calls per year until 2022 and to invest more than $4 million into an ecosystem wide increase of food production in Puerto Rico, the nonprofit said.
Applicants to the program may apply for $5,000 to $20,000 in direct funding to be used for infrastructure, equipment, machinery, construction of facilities, purchase of seeds, compost, trees, and distribution equipment, among others.
Likewise, WCK could evaluate applications for the organization of community kitchens, community-based educational events to promote healthy eating, training workshops or agricultural markets, focusing on its mission to provide the necessary tools
and solutions to accomplish the goal of strengthening and increasing agricultural capacity and food security on the island.
In 2018, WCK disbursed more than $547,000 in grants to projects affected by Hurricane María. In 2017, the organization also distributed more than $200,000 in small businesses recovery grants to food entrepreneurs.
Once the call is closed on April 15, all submissions will undergo an evaluation process and notifications will be sent in June to the projects and/or applicants that have been selected. The grants are scheduled for disbursement as of July 1, 2019, WCK stated.
“We invite farmers, agribusinesses and communities to participate in this new call for support from World Central Kitchen. Together we can work in strengthening local agriculture with sustainable practices,” Hoffman said.
“Being able to choose fresh produce and foods harvested via responsible farming, as well as achieving consistent access and distribution throughout the local market will allow us to provide wellness and an improved quality of life for our people, betting on a healthier and resilient agricultural future in Puerto Rico,” Hoffman said.