Jefferson County Food System Grant

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On June 14, 2022, the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners approved $1.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for the program “Community Investment to Equitably Increase Food Security in Jefferson County via the American Rescue Plan Act” (or the “Jefferson County Food System Grant”). 

The total amount available for all grant awards is up to $1.6 million. Funding will be awarded in amounts up to $300,000 (no minimum), and those awards will be based on the type of project, service area, and the strength of alignment with the Request for Applications (pdf) (RFA).

JCPH will administer the remaining $100,000 throughout the grant period via technical assistance contracts to benefit grantees and the Jefferson County food system as a whole. Funded applicants and community partners will be included in planning and feedback to administer this funding.

Applications are no longer being accepted. 

Program Objectives

Jefferson County is committed to fostering a local food system that ensures equitable access to nutritious, locally produced food that reflects cultural preferences. This will be achieved through supporting Jefferson County farmers, investing in food systems infrastructure, improving organizational community engagement, commitment to racial and social equity, and striving for strong collaboration among organizations and communities. Community based food justice organizations must be connected with meaningful resources, including funding, training, technical assistance, and tools for building organizational resilience. This grant opportunity is a one-time funding event to invest $1,700,000 from the American Rescue Plan (ARPA) into Jefferson County’s long-term food security and collective impact efforts. This program will be primarily administered and coordinated by Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) food systems team and the County Rescue Team. Read more about the program objectives and project criteria in the Request for Applications (pdf).

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What you need to know to apply


Applications for the Jefferson County Food System Grant has closed. Applicants will be notified of their application status no later than Monday, Nov. 28, 2022. Awarded applications will receive an award notification to outline the terms and conditions required to receive funding.

Grant Requirements

To be eligible for American Rescue Plan Act funding, applications must provide a: 

  • Certificate of Good Standing in Colorado obtained through the Colorado Secretary of State
  • System of Award Management (SAM) number. If you plan to apply for this grant program and do not yet have a SAM number, please visit to start this process as soon as possible. You can also view this SAM quick start guide. SAM numbers can often take weeks to months to receive. If you need assistance obtaining a SAM number, please contact the Colorado Procurement Technical Assistance Center.
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Tax Identification Number (TIN)

Who is eligible to apply?

The following types of entities are eligible to apply: 

  • Registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit or government equivalent. Eligible applicants must be recognized by the IRS as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3), government equivalent, or fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity.
  • Small food and/or farmer business with a recent history of supporting the Jefferson County food system, including small- and mid-sized producers, such as intermediaries, as well as sourcing, processing, packaging and distribution entities. 
  • Businesses must be licensed by the Secretary of State doing business in Colorado. 

Additional Criteria 

Jefferson County-Focused Work: Applicants must be headquartered or have a physical location in Jefferson County and/or must demonstrate a recent history (within the past year) of providing services or support to Jefferson County residents. Organizations not headquartered or that do not have a physical location in Jefferson County must have a recent history (within the past year) or a clearly demonstrated and planned commitment of providing services in Jefferson County. Consideration will be given to programs serving vulnerable populations in high needs areas of Jefferson County (see the Request For Applications for more information).

Willing to Share Data: Jefferson County intends to use information included in grant applications and data collected through grant projects to inform a broader food systems collective approach. By submitting a grant request, applicants agree to allow Jefferson County to use or share information contained in the grant application to inform community-level data initiatives and establish a network that will be accessible to a public audience. This information may also be used by the County in its community impact storytelling and marketing efforts.

Entities and project types that are not eligible 

The following are not eligible to apply for the Jefferson County Food System Grant: 

  • Individuals
  • Fundraising events
  • Private foundations
  • Other foundations or nonprofits that distribute money to recipients of its own selection 
  • Endowments
  • Organizations that practice discrimination of any kind 
  • Organizations that do not have fiscal responsibility for the proposed project

Important Details

Applicants are strongly encouraged to thoroughly review the Request for Applications (RFA) before and during the application process. The RFA outlines eligibility requirements, detailed program goals, project values, scoring criteria, background information, and more. If you have questions about the application, the overall program, Jefferson County's food systems, and/or objectives around building long-term resilience in our communities, please contact the program administrator: Email Willow Cozzens, Food Equity and Nutrition Security Coordinator at Jefferson County Public Health.

Review Committee

Jefferson County is seeking grant reviewers. This is an incredible opportunity to participate in the grant process, learn about the amazing work happening in the county, and help distribute funding to increase the health our communities. The bulk of reviewing time will occur during Nov. 1-18.

If you are interested in serving as a reviewer, please complete this Community Review Committee Application form. We will be accepting reviewer applications until Friday, Oct.14. Both Jefferson County employees and other volunteers are welcomed. Individuals not representing Jefferson County may be eligible for compensation. Reach out to Willow Cozzens at [email protected] for more details and questions.