USDA Funding Available

The Food Safety Outreach Program


Last week, the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced $4.7 million dollars in funding for the Food Safety Outreach Program (FSOP). This program awards competitive grants to eligible recipients for projects that develop and implement  food safety training, education, extension, outreach, and technical assistance related to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The deadline to apply is 5:00 pm Eastern Time on June 2, 2016.

Program Details
Awardees will develop and implement food safety training, education, extension, outreach and technical assistance projects that address the needs of owners and operators of small to mid-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially-disadvantaged farmers, small processors, or small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers. Projects will facilitate the integration of FSMA food safety guidelines into a variety of agricultural production and processing systems, including conventional, sustainable, and organic systems, among others.

USDA is soliciting proposals for three types of projects:

1) Pilot Projects (awards not to exceed $50,000) — Pilot  Projects will support the development  and implementation of new and  potentially high-risk, high-impact food safety education and outreach programs in local communities that address the needs of small, specialized audiences from among the various target groups. For example, Pilot Projects may target non-traditional, niche, or hard-to-reach audiences.

2) Community Outreach Projects (awards not to exceed  $150,000) — Community  Outreach Projects will support the growth and expansion of already-existing food safety education and outreach programs that are currently offered in local communities. These projects will enable those existing programs to reach a broader target audience, or to expand to include new audiences not currently being served within local communities. 

3) Multi-state Education and Training Projects (awards not to exceed $400,000) — Multi-state Education and Training Projects will  support the development and implementation  of  multi -county, state-wide, or multi-state food safety education and outreach programs where  there are common food safety concerns, but the counties and states are not  necessarily located within the same regions. 

Grant applications will be solicited directly from those in local communities, to include those from community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, food hubs, farm cooperatives, extension, and other local groups. Successful awardees will be required to interact with Regional Centers by reporting project outcomes to the Centers. Eligible applicants include:

  • Cooperative Extension
  • Non-government organizations and/or community based organizations representing owners and operators of farms, small food processors, or small fruit and  wholesalers
  • Federal, State, local, or tribal agencies
  • Colleges and Univeristies
  • A collaboration of two or more eligible entities  

There is a 100% cost share requirement with possible exceptions (see page 12 of the RFA). All applications must be submitted electronically through by 5:00 pm Eastern Time on June 2, 2016.

Stakeholder Input
The  National Institute of Food and  Agriculture (NIFA) seeks your comments  about this  RFA .  Comments will be considered  when next RFA for the program is developed, if applicable  Submit written stakeholder comments via email to: (This email address is intended only for receiving  comments regarding this RFA and not requesting information or forms.) In your comments, please state that you are responding to the Food Safety Outreach Competitive Grants  Program RFA. 

On January 4, 2010, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into legislation. In 2015, both NIFA and the Food and Drug Administration collaborated to establish the National Food Safety Training, Education, Extension, Outreach and Technical Assistance Competitive Grant Program. FSOP was established to complement and expand this program to help reach farmers impacted by the new food safety regulations and guidelines created by FSMA.

More Info
FSOP announcement on
FSOP Request for Applications