Food Distribution Assistance Program

The N.C. General Assembly appropriated $10 million to Golden LEAF for the food distribution assistance program. This program is funded by federal State Fiscal Recovery Funds through the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Funds may be used for the following: 

  • Grants to nonprofit organizations to assist those organizations in (i) becoming eligible to be partner agencies of a North Carolina food bank or (ii) enhancing or expanding the capacity of current partner agencies of North Carolina food banks.
  • Grants to nonprofit organizations to assist those organizations in (i) establishing a school-based weekend food assistance program or (ii) enhancing or expanding the capacity of current school-based weekend food assistance programs.

Golden LEAF Foundation expects that applications will exceed funds available for this program.

  • Funds will be used to address a clearly defined gap in existing food assistance networks.
  • Outcomes will be clear, measurable, and reportable. (Evaluation may continue after project completion.)

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Eligible Entities
Only charitable nonprofit organizations based in North Carolina are eligible to apply for this grant program. A charitable nonprofit organization is an organization that has been recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a tax-exempt organization formed and operated exclusively for charitable purposes and described under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. 

Applicants must be able to meet compliance requirements set by the State of North Carolina through N.C.G.S.143C-6-23, including not appearing on the state Suspension of Funding List, and applicable federal requirements. Funds may only be used to support food distribution programs aligned with the criteria set by Feeding Americas and Feeding the Carolinas, including that food must be distributed without cost and without bias.

Organizations must have an operating history of at least two full years (not necessarily providing food assistance) or must be formally affiliated with an organization with an operating history of at least two years.

Churches and Places of Worship Are Not Eligible to Apply
Churches and other places of worship are not eligible to apply.

Faith-Based Organizations Are Eligible to Apply
Faith-based organizations that have been recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a tax-exempt organization formed and operated exclusively for charitable purposes and described under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code are eligible. Faith-based organizations must be able to provide the documents required by the Pre-Application process, including an IRS Letter of Determination, list of Board of Directors, and financial information. Organizations whose financial statements are consolidated with the financial statements of a church or other place of worship, are eligible to apply. 

ORGANIZATIONS MUST SUBMIT A PRE-APPLICATION

Eligible Uses of Funds
Funds may be used for the following:

  • Awards to nonprofit organizations to help them become eligible to be partner agencies of North Carolina food banks
  • Awards to current nonprofit partner agencies of North Carolina food banks to enhance or expand food distribution capacity
  • Awards to nonprofit organizations to establish, enhance, or expand school-based weekend food assistance programs

Download a list of eligible and ineligible expenses from the Resources page.

Award Amount
Up to $250,000 may be awarded per project.

Process
Golden LEAF has developed a multi-stage process for organizations interested in funding through the Food Distribution Assistance Program.

Food Bank Partner Agency
(Potential New and Existing)
School-Based Weekend Food Assistance
Stage 1 Pre-Application Pre-Application
Stage 2 Project Assessment Application
Stage 3 Application Golden LEAF Board Review
(award or decline)
Stage 4 Golden LEAF Board Review
(award or decline)
Implementation and Monitoring
Stage 5 Implementation and Monitoring

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During the Pre-Application phase, organizations will be assessed as not meeting requirements of the program for any of the the following:

  1. Organization is not a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit.
  2. Organization is not based in North Carolina.
  3. Organization did not comply with the Certification of No Overdue Tax Debts.
  4. Organization is on the North Carolina Suspension of Funding List.
  5. Organization does not have at least two years of operating history or a formal affiliation with one that does.
  6. Organization received an adverse audit opinion. An adverse opinion is an opinion that the financial statements do not present fairly the financial position, results of operations, and cash flows in conformity with GAAP, and may indicate fraud or illegal activity. An adverse opinion is different from a qualified or modified opinion or a disclaimer of opinion. Note: Organizations are not required to have audited financial statements to be eligible for funding.

Anticipated Timeline
Only organizations that successfully complete each phase will be invited to participate in the next.

Pre-Application Phase Opens January 24, 2023 at 12pm
Pre-Application Phase Closes Submissions due February 7, 2023 at 12pm
Project Assessment Phase Opens* February 17, 2023 at 12pm
Project Assessment Due* Submissions due March 3, 2023 at 12pm
Application Portal Open February 15, 2023 at 12pm
Application Deadlines March 7, 2023 at 12pm
April 14, 2023 at 12pm
April 28, 2023 at 12pm
Application Portal Closes Submissions due no later than April 28, 2023 at 12pm
Golden LEAF Board Review
(award or decline)
Anticipated August 3, 2023

*Only required for organizations in the Food Bank Partner Agency (New and Existing) funding opportunity

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