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Community Food Response Funding

What is the Community Food Response Funding? The Community Food Response Funding aims to meet increased demand over two years due to the economic shocks caused by COVID-19, while developing longer-term Food Secure Community plans.
Total funding available $21 million over two years from August 2020 – June 2022.
Who can apply?

We welcome either individual applications or joint applications from networks of community organisations that are working together to provide food to the community.

Where you are working together, we want to help support your shared decisions about meeting the food security needs of the communities you work with.

We are seeking applications from organisations that are:

  • A foodbank, food rescue organisation, or other organisation that is distributing or providing food to people, families or whānau who are unable to afford to purchase food
  • Registered as a Charitable Trust, Incorporated Society or other not for profit legal entity
  • Able to demonstrate strong and ongoing community connections to the cohorts they are supporting with food
  • Able to articulate how their governance and management structures are reflective of the makeup of the communities in which they operate
  • Able to demonstrate increased costs in distributing or providing food to people, families and whānau compared with prior to COVID-19
  • Able to demonstrate established processes for identifying or assessing who requires support for food
  • Able to demonstrate established relationships to connect people to support, for example Building Financial Capability (budgeting) and local Work and Income service centres (where appropriate)
  • Able to demonstrate that the food it provides is safe and healthy and provided in a safe way.

A second year of funding is likely to include consideration of whether the organisation also:

  1. Has MSD Accreditation Level 4 (or higher), or umbrellas with an organisation who does.
  2. Is working towards or implementing an operating model that will contribute towards a food secure community.
Eligible Costs

In year one, funding will be allocated as a contribution towards the increased costs of your organisation due to COVID-19 in providing food to people, families and whānau who are unable to afford to purchase food.

We recognise the different operating models and cost structures of foodbanks, food rescue and other iwi / community organisations (e.g. donated / purchased goods; paid staff / volunteers; packaging and delivery approaches).

Consideration will also be given to organisations developing new operating models that contribute towards food secure communities.

Your application should take account of increased food stocks that will be available via the New Zealand Food Network.

In year two, we will negotiate expenditure with you, with grants focusing on organisations implementing models that will contribute towards food secure communities.
What costs are ineligible?

The following are examples of costs which are NOT eligible:

  • Business-as-usual costs that have not been impacted by increased demand, reduced donations, or additional costs due to COVID-19.
Expected outcomes The successful applicant will provide an increased level of food for people, families and whanau experiencing food insecurity due to the economic shocks caused by COVID-19, while contributing towards creating a food secure community.
Reporting requirements

A sixth monthly report on 10 February and 10 July each year.

  • A breakdown of how the funds were spent
  • The number of meals provided or distributed with this funding
  • The number and percentage of these meals from rescued or recovered sources.
  • How food was distributed in ways that enhanced the mana of those receiving the food.
  • How your organisation is contributing towards creating a food secure community (including any actions planned / being implemented).
 Your questions

If you have any questions, please email them to foodsecure@msd.govt.nz.

We will also regularly update our FAQs page with your commonly asked questions.
How can applications be made?

Applications will open on 29 May 2020 and close on 5 July 2020 at 11.59pm. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application in early August 2020.

Download the application form here and submit to foodsecure@msd.govt.nz

FAQs for Community Food Response Grant Fund (CFRGF)

What period of time will the funding cover?

The CFRGF is designed as contributary funding to support the increased food demand experienced by foodbanks, food rescue and community food services due to COVID-19 AND contribute to Food Secure Communities. It has been created to provide two-year funding to community food providers to meet this need from August 2020 until June 2022. It also provides an opportunity (into year 2) for organisations to work towards new more mana-enhancing practices or new approaches which increase food sovereignty and sustainable practices which will contribute to greater food security for their communities (see definitions below).

I have received funding from the Community Awareness and Preparation Grant Fund (CAPGF) and/or Community Food Transition Grant Fund (CFTGF), can I apply?

Yes, you can still apply. This funding is intended to contribute to costs incurred from August 2020 to June 2022.

Our organisation does not have Level 4 (or higher) Social Service Accreditation, are we still eligible to apply?

MSD requires that successful applicants reach Level 4 (or higher) Social Service Accreditation within six months of receiving funding. MSD will support successful applicants through this process. Food rescue organisations are exempt from these requirements as they do not deal directly with clients but will still be subject to financial due diligence.

If I do not wish to apply for Level 4 (or higher) Social Service Accreditation, can we still apply for funding for year one?

Yes you may, please just make it clear in the email when you submit your application that you are applying for year one ONLY. Also please include audited or independently reviewed accounts.

Our non-profit does not require a yearly audit, is it ok to submit independently reviewed accounts instead?

Yes you may, we have had feedback than a full audit is too financially onerous for some smaller charities. We will accept accounts which have been independently reviewed as an alternative.

I have not received funding from Civil Defence (CDEM), can I apply?

Yes you can, if you can demonstrate increased demand on your services since COVID-19, and you meet the other CFRGF criteria.

I am a food rescue organisation, can I apply?

Yes, MSD recognises the crucial role of food rescue organisations in providing food to vulnerable people and whānau.

I am an individual providing a food service, can I apply?

This funding is only available to registered charities, charitable trusts or other non-profit legal entities.

I run a food manufacturing business and want to distribute food at-cost to foodbanks, can I apply?

This funding is only available to registered charities, charitable trusts or other non-profit legal entities. You may be able to partner with an existing charity and apply together.

We are an organisation which has recently started providing food to our community due to COVID-19, can we apply?

If you are a registered charity, charitable trust or other non-profit legal entity then you are able to apply. Organisations with established links to their communities, and can show good practice around assessing needs and providing referrals to other organisations will be prioritised.

Would this fund cover lease of warehouse/container/storage area required for increased operations?

Yes, we would consider contributing to these costs if the need for more space is directly related to increased demand post COVID-19.

Would this fund cover wages/staff costs?

If your organisation has had to employ new staff or increase staff hours due to increased demand post COVID-19 we would consider contributing to these costs. We will prioritise applications where wages were not the majority of costs requested.

What is the New Zealand Food Network?

The New Zealand Food Network is a new organisation which will receive bulk surplus food from national level food producers (e.g. Sanitarium or Zespri for example) and distribute this food across the country through to food rescue organisations and other food hubs. This is expected to significantly increase the amount of food available through food rescue organisations and other food hubs. They are currently establishing and should be fully operational in August.

How do we fill in the question in the application related to 20% of our food costs coming from New Zealand Food Network?

The New Zealand Food Network will be distributing bulk surplus food across the country to regional hubs and local food rescue/foodbanks. We will share more information about connecting with this opportunity as it becomes available. Please take this into account when estimating how much to apply for in food costs. Example below:

  • Your food stocks have increased by $10,000 per annum (a 35% increase on BAU).
  • Therefore, if you allow for NZ Food Network to supply 20%, your food costs will decrease by $2000 per annum.
11 Description/expense ($ GST exclusive) 2020/2021 2021/2022
Venue hire $5000 $5000
Equipment hire $7000 $7000
Food stocks (35% increase on BAU) $10000 $10000
Wages (0.2 FTE) $4000 $4000
Community Food Response Grant Fund total requested $0 $0
Allow for NZ Food Network to supply an estimated 20% of your increased need for food stocks. -$2000 -$2000

Other funders contribution or in-kind contribution where the contribution is secured

[insert text here]
$0 $0

 Total increased costs:

$24000 $24000

If we are successful when will we receive funds?

You will receive funding for the first year in August 2020.

As this is two-year funding, you will receive the funding for the second year in July 2021 (Note that applicants can apply for different amounts over the two years). An MSD staff member will work with you to ensure that you are eligible for your second year of funding, this includes:

  • obtaining Social Services Accreditation Level 4 within six months
  • discussion and negotiation with MSD about how your organisation is contributing towards creating a food secure community

You will also need to complete a six-monthly report on 10 February and 10 July each year which includes:

  • a breakdown of how the funds were spent
  • the number of meals provided or distributed with this funding
  • the number and percentage of these meals from rescued or recovered sources
  • how food was distributed in ways that enhanced the mana of those receiving the food
  • how your organisation is contributing towards creating a food secure community (including any actions planned/being implemented).

Which groups are most vulnerable to food insecurity?

Research indicates that beneficiaries, low income earners, those in social or rental accommodation, Māori, Pacific peoples, sole parents and disabled people are most vulnerable to food insecurity.

Can we provide food vouchers rather than food?

Vouchers are not our preferred model of support although could be used as a supplement. We prefer that referrals are made to MSD for Special Needs Grants for this, and that foodbanks are first maximising use of food rescue, to maximise the funding available to providers.

What are good practices that you are looking for?

We are wanting to see evidence that you have thought deeply about and are able to demonstrate:

  • strong and ongoing community connections to the cohorts you are supporting with food
  • how your governance and management structures are reflective of the makeup of the communities in which you operate
  • established processes for identifying or assessing who requires support for food
  • established relationships to connect people to support, for example Building Financial Capability (budgeting) and local Work and Income service centres (where appropriate)
  • that the food you provides is safe and healthy and culturally appropriate.

Working definitions

Here are some working definitions for terms MSD is using:

  1. Food security is broadly defined as ‘access by all people at all times to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life’ (World Health Organisation). Food insecurity exists when people have limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, or limited ability to acquire personally acceptable foods that meet cultural needs in a socially acceptable way (Ministry of Health, 2019).
  2. Mana-enhancing practice acknowledges that many people and cultures experience shame asking for help and this can be a barrier to accessing the food they need. Best-practice is about considering ways to break down these barriers and enable people and whānau to access food in ways that enhance their autonomy and right to make their own decisions, and that provide a positive experience.
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