Sustainability of CFP activities

The CFP grant program is a one-time funding opportunity for a particular set of eligible activities. Applicants are required to demonstrate how they will sustain project activities and outcomes after the grant ends. Many community food activities, however, are labor-intensive and exist in low-income communities with limited capacity to pay for services. These communities also often lack important infrastructure such as distribution networks, warehouses, or retail facilities, which leads projects to ‘bootstrap’ their efforts in ways that are difficult to maintain over the long term. For these reasons, CFPs often rely on additional grants from foundations, government sources, or other channels. Specific activities and resources that were used to sustain activities include:

• Donations of cash and in-kind support from community members, organizations and businesses. In kind support included volunteer time, equipment, land, and office and warehouse space.
• Grant proposals to foundations and government sources (including some that were successfully funded by the time of CFP completion). A couple of partner organizations, who had previously been part of a broader umbrella organization, successfully filed for their own 501(c)(3) status to be able to generate funding independently.
• Revenue from sale of food and non-food products, land and equipment rentals, training and consulting services, conference registrations, and memberships.
• Installation of infrastructure and assets, such as trees, gardens, greenhouses, land, EBT machines, etc., that will continue to produce project outputs (and sometimes revenue) with minimal additional inputs.
• Development of toolkits including replication manuals, training materials, and models for gar- dens, farmers’ markets, and other activities taken up by particular CFPs.
• Development of key intermediate outputs such as a business plan to raise capital, a strategic plan to be presented to the city council for approval, or application for culinary training program accreditation.
• Links with local universities to continue training activities and involve students in projects.
• Integration of programs into existing operations such as regular school curricula, CFP grantee operational budgets, or public agency offerings.
• Reduction of scale of activities to levels that can be sustained by volunteers or existing funding.
• Ongoing outreach, education, and marketing to raise awareness of issues, and generate interest in and support for the CFP grantee’s activities.
• Continuation of relationships with partners and development of new relationships to deliver key services, develop local policies, and secure additional resources.
• Culmination of grantee involvement in activity because of success. For example, a business or farmers’ market developed by the CFP became self-sustaining; a school adopted a local food purchase plan; lasting business relationships between farmers and area stores were created; a local purchasing resolution was passed by the state legislature; or a long-term contract with the city for funding a food policy council was obtained.