Cover photo for Delaware First State Food System Grant Program

Delaware First State Food System Grant Program

Delaware Council on Farm & Food Policy

Closed June 19, 2023

The First State Food System Program (Program) provides funding to entities that grow, process, store, transport, distribute, or sell food in the State of Delaware. The Program highlights the interconnection of systems and processes that influence nutrition, food security, health, community development, and agricultural prosperity. A well-functioning food supply chain moves Delaware grown food products from farmland and indoor grow sites to market outlets, and ultimately to households and consumers. The Delaware Department of Agriculture through its advisory group – the Delaware Council on Farm & Food Policy (Council) strives to facilitate and support a local food system where farmers can access viable markets; Delaware households can access nutritious and wholesome food options within their own communities; and where the impacts of supply chain disruptions can be diminished. 


  • The applicant’s entity must be in operation for two or more years. Start-up entities will be considered when the operator provides a description of industry experience or when the start-up budget includes a contribution from the owner.

  • The applicant’s entity must be a legal entity and have the legal capacity to enter into a project agreement with the Delaware Department of Agriculture.

  • Eligible entities must be owned and operated in the State of Delaware and include small to mid-sized, for-profit producers and nonprofit organizations; aquaculture/fishery operators; food distributors or transporters; food processing operators. The Council reserves the right to consider applications from non-Delaware entities that directly provide product or services to Delaware.


Applications will be evaluated based on the viability of the entity; its function and reach as part of the food system; and its demonstrated or potential capacity to do at least one of the following:

  • Add to the volume of food production in Delaware.

  • Add to the direct-to-consumer sale or availability of food products through retail or charitable outlets in Delaware.

  • Add to activities used to transform food products from their harvested state to a consumable state for end users. Processing activities include: freezing, chopping, fermenting, packaging, washing, cooking, pasteurizing, canning, and more in Delaware.

  • Add to the transportation or distribution of food products to consumer/end user outlets in Delaware.

  • Improve efficiency and reduce costs of distribution systems.

  • Improve capacity of food retail outlets including restaurants, to meet local demand.

  • Improve flexibilities of food retail and distribution outlets to better align with consumer needs like online purchasing or food delivery.

  • Address challenges to proximity through transportation solutions.

  • Increase emerging agricultural practices by bringing food production into busy, populated areas – such as vertical gardens, shipping container farms, rooftop farming, hydroponics, community gardens, community composting, and food waste reduction.

Application Instructions

Applications must be completed using Foundant, an online platform. The Council is working with Delaware Community Foundation to manage the Foundant platform for ease of access to applications and all program reporting materials.

Access Foundant here:

  1. Create a login-in for Foundant.

  2. Access and complete applications.

  3. Upload or complete: applications, proof of purchase documents, budget narratives, quarterly reports, and annual reports.

  4. Nonprofit entities must upload the IRS determination letter of their entities’ nonprofit status. Registration and UEI

All entities eligible to receive funds through this Program must register with the Federal System for Award Management ( and obtain a Unique Entity ID. This may include updating as required by the Federal government. Registering allows entities to do business with the Federal government and ensures that federal funds are not paid to organizations that have been suspended or disbarred. Please note that registration may take several weeks, so apply early.

Application Format

Applications must be submitted in their entirety. Incomplete applications will not be given further consideration. Your application must include the following:

Project Profile – Project Title, Duration of Project

  • Project Purpose – specific issue, problem, or need the project will address

  • Project Beneficiaries

  • Listing of Objectives

  • Statement of Enhancing the Local Food System – applicants must explain their role as part of Delaware’s food supply chain and how the project enhances Delaware’s food supply chain.

  • Continuation of Project – applicants must describe how they will continue the project once the grant has ended and furthermore, how the project can be sustained into the future.

  • Other Project Support – applicants must indicate if the project is receiving funds or will potentially receive funds from other sources including private, state, or federal sources.

  • Project Partner/Supporter Summary – description and include letters of support

  • Expected Outcomes & Indicators

  • Budget Narrative 


Release Date

April 19, 2023


June 19, 2023

Financial Instrument


Minimum Award Amount


Maximum Award Amount


Updated June 1, 2023

Image Credit: Erik-Jan Leusink

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