The application intake period for the Local Food Infrastructure Fund has now been extended to September 3, 2021. 

Purpose of this guide

This guide will:

  1. help you determine if you may be eligible for funding from Agriculture and Agri- Food Canada (AAFC) under the Local Food Infrastructure Fund (LFIF)
  2. provide you with directions and explanations to assist you in completing a Project application form

1.0 About the Local Food Infrastructure Fund

The LFIF is a 5 year, $60 million initiative ending March 31, 2024. It was created as part of the Government of Canadas Food Policy for a healthier and more sustainable food system in Canada. The LFIF is aimed at community-based, not-for-profit organizations with a mission to reduce food insecurity by establishing and strengthening their local food system.

This intake of LFIF mobilizes an additional $10 million announced in Budget 2021, to provide rapid-response grants to help prevent hunger through investments in infrastructure needs. The impact must be targeted and immediate, and must be directly related to addressing food insecurities and increasing the accessibility of healthy, nutritious and ideally local foods within their community(ies).

The initial intake of LFIF took place from August 15, 2019 to November 8, 2019 (LFIF-1), and was aimed at small community-based organizations to allow them to improve their infrastructure and purchase equipment directly related to the accessibility of healthy, nutritious, and ideally, local foods within their community.

The second intake of LFIF took place from June 9, 2020 to February 12, 2021 (LFIF-2), and along with simpler infrastructure requests noted above, included more complex, multi-year projects that strengthen local food systems.

Applicants will be limited to submitting one (1) application for funding through this intake. All funding requests must be between $15,000 and $100,000. Applicants who have submitted funding requests in the past (LFIF-1 and LFIF-2) can apply to this current funding intake. In addition, applicants applying for this current funding intake will be eligible to apply in future iterations of the LFIF. The program will launch future intakes for funding available in 2022-23 and 2023-24.

1.1 Eligible applicants

Eligible applicants must be capable of entering into a legally-binding agreement and are:

1.2 Eligible projects

Projects must be infrastructure specific, community-driven and dedicated to improving access to safe and healthy foods for Canadians at risk of food insecurity. For the purpose of this fund, Canadians at risk of food insecurity may include, but are not limited to:

  • Indigenous Peoples
  • persons who are homeless or street-involved
  • low-income households
  • persons living in isolated or rural communities
  • persons with disabilities

Eligible projects must be for simple infrastructure requests such as purchasing a walk-in refrigerator for a food bank, or installing a greenhouse in a remote community. Complex projects, such as projects that include major renovations and construction, and multi-year projects will not be considered under this funding intake, as impacts must be targeted and immediate. Project activities must be completed by March 31, 2022.

Details must be provided on:

  • what the proposed project aims to achieve
  • who will benefit from this project
  • how the project and requested infrastructure will be used to address food insecurity in at-risk populations
  • how the availability of/access to/distribution of healthy, nutritious and ideally local food will be increased

For example, an organization currently providing food hampers to at-risk individuals may be able to offer fresh, locally-produced fruits and vegetables by establishing a garden or building a greenhouse with AAFC funds. Also, metrics must be provided to show the proposed outcomes/impacts of the project (for example number of at-risk people served will increase from 100 to 150 or the amount of food produced will increase from 200 kilograms to 400 kilograms).

Eligible activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Collective production of food (for example, community kitchens, community gardens, established urban farms, vertical garden)
  • Preparation, refrigeration, distribution, and storage of food (for example, food banks, meal preparation)
  • Transportation of food (for example, refrigerated vehicles, forklifts, tractors)
    • Note: non-refrigerated vehicles will not be considered
  • Establishment of energy systems (for example, greenhouses, solar panels)
  • Establishment of water infrastructure (for example, irrigation systems, rainwater capture)

No profits or commercial gain can be derived from the projects undertaken through this fund and all benefits must return to the targeted community(ies). Infrastructure should not be used for the commercial production or processing of food.

1.3 Eligible costs

The following section demonstrates the eligible and ineligible costs under this program and any limitations or instructions you need to know to help you complete your budget.

Capital Assets

Eligible Cost Items

  • The purchase of new or used equipment
  • Alteration or modernization of an asset that appreciably prolongs the period of usefulness of the item, or improves its functionality

Examples of capital assets:

  • Refrigerators/freezers (walk-in or stand-alone)
  • Refrigerated trucks
  • Kitchen appliances (small and large)
  • Food processing equipment (for example canning supplies, meat grinder, dehydrators)
  • Cold storage/shelving/forklift
  • Solar panels used to power food infrastructure
  • Greenhouses
  • Smokehouses and root cellars
  • Gardening infrastructure on small or large scale (such as for use in community gardens and established urban farms)
  • Green infrastructure, such as soil, edible trees and plants for food forests
  • Irrigation systems/rain water capture

Ineligible costs and limitations

  • Ineligible costs
    • The purchase or lease of land or buildings
    • The purchase or lease of private/personal vehicles or any non-refrigerated vehicles
    • Wells
  • Limitations
    • Capital expenditures must be essential for the execution of the proposed project and their ownership must be maintained for a minimum of 2 years after the completion of the project
    • Initial purchase/costs only for green infrastructure
Other Direct Project Costs

Eligible Cost Items

  • Project costs associated with the completion of the project such as:
    • Installation costs (including labour for example: plumber, electrician)
    • Freight and duty charges
    • Shipping costs
    • Personal protective equipment

Ineligible costs and limitations

Ineligible costs:

  • The purchase of food (perishable and/or non-perishable)
  • Major renovations or construction (interior or exterior)
  • Costs associated with the ongoing operations (for example, labour, staff, rent, insurance, utilities)
  • Costs related to marketing activities and business promotion
  • Gift cards
  • Provincial sales taxes, GST and HST or other value added taxes.
  • Costs for activities intended to directly influence/lobby governments
  • Hospitality costs
  • Travel costs
  • Honoraria costs
  • Project management costs to prepare the application and negotiate the agreement
  • Other costs not specifically required for the project

Retroactive costs

Costs may be retroactively covered only to the date you receive an email from the program confirming that your application has been deemed complete. Incurring costs before a project decision and until an agreement is fully executed between AAFC and your organization is a risk as these costs may be deemed ineligible.

Quotes

A quote from a third-party commercial supplier must be submitted for every item costing more than $5,000. These quotes must include a category breakdown (list all items per cost item) for all capital assets or other direct project costs to be purchased and installed and have been issued no more than 6 months prior to the date the application is received. Ensure the quoted amounts (exclusive of taxes) are used when filling out the budget.

Quotes must be provided either on supplier letterhead, or as a screenshot from the suppliers website (screenshot must include website URL, itemized list and totals). Note that quotes from non-commercial vendors for private sales will not be accepted (for example Kijiji, Auto Trader). In addition, unofficial quotes in the form of Word documents or Excel spreadsheets will not be accepted.

1.4 Funding

Applicants under this program will be eligible to receive a minimum of $15,000 and up to $100,000 in grant funding. Applicants will be limited to submitting one application for funding under this intake. Successful applicants are required to enter into a legal agreement with AAFC.

For the purchase of refrigerated vehicles, the cost share must be a maximum of 85% AAFC contribution and a minimum of 15% applicant contribution. Total government funding (other federal departments, provincial/territorial, and municipal governments) cannot exceed 100%.

2.0 Expected results

The LFIF is expected to strengthen food systems to be resilient, integrated and sustainable, and to facilitate access to safe and nutritious food for at-risk populations.

As organizations make increased investments in local food infrastructure, their capacity to provide healthy and nutritious food within their community will increase.

Organizations will be able to provide an improved or more efficient level of service, expanded services, or an increase in the number of service offerings.

When preparing your application, the project should detail your organizations current reach and how the requested infrastructure will increase your organizations capacity to address food insecurity within your community(ies), and support this data with metrics.

3.0 Assessment process

As the programs primary goal is to strengthen food systems and to facilitate access to safe and nutritious food for at-risk populations, projects must demonstrate an increase or improvement to their service, and a targeted and immediate impact.

Proposals will be evaluated based on their merit and the extent to which they meet the following criteria:

  • Impact on the community (fills an identified food-related need, number of beneficiaries)
  • Relevance of the project to the local context (food security, access to traditional foods for Indigenous communities, access to fresh and locally-grown food)

Also, proposals must clearly demonstrate:

  • the need for the requested infrastructure or equipment improvement
  • the increased capacity to address food insecurities

4.0 Reporting on your project

Recipients will be required to report on results achieved through a final performance report as follows:

Performance measures[1] Brief description

Degree to which the Recipient has increased its capacity to provide healthy and nutritious food as a result of the project.

Note: increased capacity is defined as improved level of service, increased service efficiency, expanded/scale-up of services, increased number of service offerings, increased number of partnerships, etc.

The Recipient will be asked to provide an assessment on a numeric scale of the level of change regarding its capacity to provide healthy and nutritious food.
Degree to which healthy and nutritious food availability has increased in communities as a result of the project. The Recipient will be asked to provide an assessment on a numeric scale of the level of change regarding the availability of healthy and nutritious food in the targeted community(ies).
Percentage change in the amount of food produced/distributed by program recipients The Recipient will be asked to report on the quantities of food that it produces/distributes to its clientele, both before and after the project.
Perceived decrease in the level of food insecurity in the communities served by the Recipient as a result of the project. Recipients perception of how the project has helped decrease the level of food insecurity in the communities served. The Recipient will be asked to provide an assessment on a numeric scale to support this, in addition to qualitative information.
[1] Performance measures are subject to changes at the discretion of the Minister. Other reports may be required at AAFCs discretion.

5.0 M-30 Act (for Quebec)

The Province of Quebecs M-30 legislation may apply to Québec based applicants only. It is the Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif (R.S.Q., c. M-30).

More information on the Act is available online or by contacting the Ministère de lAgriculture, des Pêcheries et de lAlimentation (MAPAQ) at dpci@mapaq.gouv.qc.ca.

M-30 applies to various types of Quebec organizations, for example, organizations located in Québec and receiving more than half of their financing from the Government of Québec may be subject to the Act.

All Quebec based organizations will have to address this matter and demonstrate their compliance with the Act during the project assessment process, and prior to entering into a grant agreement.

6.0 How to Apply

The application intake period for the Local Food Infrastructure Fund has now been extended to September 3, 2021.

Applications will be accepted until September 3, 2021 (depending on funding availability). Applicants may submit a proposal at any time before the deadline, for a minimum ask of $15,000 to a maximum ask of $100,000.

For information on how to complete a project application, refer to Annex A: How to complete the application form.

6.1 Application checklist

PDF forms

If you have problems opening a PDF form in your Internet browser, you need to:

  • Use your computer. The forms may not open on mobile devices (iPads, tablets, mobile phones).
  • Make sure you have Adobe Reader 11 (or higher) already installed on your computer. If not, download Adobe Reader 11 or higher for free. Adobe has help for solving common issues.
  • You must save the file on your computer in a place you can remember.
  • Open the file on your computer using Adobe Reader 11 or higher.
  • If you cant open the form with Adobe Reader 11 or higher, contact the program.

How to download and open a PDF form

  • Microsoft Windows Operating System computers using Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge as your browser
    1. Right-click on the link you want to save
    2. Select Save target as or Save link as
    3. Choose the location on your computer where you would like to save the file
    4. Select Save
    5. Open Adobe Reader 11 or higher
    6. Select File
    7. Select Open
    8. Go to the location where you saved the file
    9. Select the PDF file
    10. Select Open
  • Microsoft Windows Operating System or Apple computers using Chrome or Firefox as your browser
    1. Right-click on the link you want to save
    2. When the option menu appears, choose Download link file or Download link file as
    3. Choose the location on your computer where you would like to save the file. Your computer will start the download once you have selected a location.
    4. Open Adobe Reader 11 or higher
    5. Go to the location where you saved the file
    6. Select the PDF file
    7. Select Open

Before you submit your Project Application form, use the following checklist to help ensure your application is complete.

  • Your organization is an eligible organization type (see Section 1.1).
  • Your organization has been in operation for at least 2 years.
  • Your proposed project will augment your organizations ability to address targeted and immediate food insecurities in your community.
  • Each section of the Project Application form has been completed.
  • Only eligible costs are included in the proposed budget
  • You have clicked on the Check for Errors button in the upper right hand corner of each page of the Project Application form to ensure that it has been completed correctly.
  • You have attached all of the following documents:
    • Confirmation of legal entity and not-for-profit status (such as Articles of Incorporation or Certificates of Incorporation) Note that Indigenous governments and municipalities do not need to provide confirmation of legal entity. 
    • Quotes from third-party commercial suppliers for budget items costing $5,000 or more
    • Table of Metrics and Anticipated Results (PDF) 

6.2 Project application form

1. Complete the Project application form

Missing components or non-compliance with the instructions may result in the application not being accepted.

2. Submit your completed application form and documents

To apply to the program, download, complete and submit the Project application form (PDF) using the Submit button in the form.

If you have questions about the Project application form (PDF), please contact the program.

Confidentiality

It is the applicants responsibility to identify if information contained in an application is considered commercially confidential. This information will not be disclosed unless required by law, including the Access to Information Act, or upon express authorization of the applicant.

7.0 After you apply

Once you submit your application, an acknowledgment notice will be sent to you. Applicants should not consider an application as submitted to the program until an acknowledgement notice is received.

After an application has been received, the program verifies that all required forms and declarations have been completed and there is sufficient detail in the application for a full assessment. When the application has been deemed complete and ready for assessment, notice will be provided to the applicant. Service standards for assessments begin only once the application is deemed to be complete.

Once you submit your application, the programs goal is to achieve its service standards at a minimum of 80% of the time under normal circumstances:

  • respond to general inquiries made to our phone number or email address before the end of the next business day
  • acknowledge receipt of applications within one (1) business day
  • assess applications and send approval or a rejection notification letter within 100 business days of receiving a complete application package

Please note that even if a project meets all eligibility criteria, the submission of an application creates no obligation on the part of the Minister or of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada officials to provide funding for the proposed project. The Minister retains discretion to determine, based on other public policy and public interest considerations, whether an application that meets the criteria identified in this Guide will ultimately receive funding.

8.0 Contact information

For more information on the Local Food Infrastructure Fund, please contact the program by:

E-mail: aafc.foodprograms-programmesalimentaires.aac@agr.gc.ca
Telephone: 1-877-246-4682
TDD/TTY: 613-773-2600

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