WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Deputy Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner has announced that 32 grants totaling $4.6 million have been awarded to community organizations to help low-income Americans to eat healthfully.

"These grants give more Americans access to nutritious foods," Conner said. "They are innovative programs that increase self-reliance of communities by giving them the opportunity to create partnerships and programs to meet their own food, farm and nutrition needs."

Community Food Projects awards will aid non-profit organizations in 19 states and one territory to carry out projects to help low-income communities.

This year, for the first time, small grants of up to $25,000 were awarded for planning projects to help communities assess local needs and build collaborations that will lead to community food security projects. The grants are administered through USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES).

The CFP grants, first administered in 1996, help eligible private, nonprofit entities that need a one-time infusion of funds to carry out community food projects. Projects are funded for one to three years in amounts ranging from $10,000 to $300,000. The grants require a dollar-for-dollar match in resources. The matching amounts come from a variety of sources including the grantees, partnering collaborators or local agencies. Funds have been authorized through 2007 at $5 million per year.

The list of the fiscal year 2006 grant award amounts and recipients is online.

CSREES advances knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities by supporting research, education, and extension programs in the Land-Grant University System and other partner organizations.

SOURCE: USDA news release.