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OLYMPIA — The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) Food Assistance Program is accepting applications for Flexible Funding grants, a new grant program to support hunger relief efforts.

WSDA distributes millions of dollars annually through its Food Assistance programs, contracting with hunger relief organizations and tribes in all 39 counties to deliver government-funded food assistance resources across the state.

The new WSDA Flexible Funding grants are funded by $4 million available from an appropriation provided by the state Legislature during the 2021 session and the USDA. The grant is open to all food-assistance organizations statewide, whether they currently contract with WSDA to distribute food or not. Applications are being accepted through Nov. 15.

“The COVID-19 pandemic greatly increased the need for food assistance statewide and that increased need continues to this day,” WSDA director Derek Sandison said in a release. “The Flexible Funding grants are one way WSDA can assist the state’s hunger relief safety net and broaden our work to reach as many people as possible, thanks to the support of the state Legislature for this grant and other hunger relief efforts.”

The Flexible Funding grants program will fund eligible projects in three categories: making food distribution more efficient, targeted community needs, and pilot projects, innovations and food system improvements.

Grant awards will range from below $5,000 to over $50,000. For more information, including eligibility requirements and how to apply, visit agr.wa.gov/grants.

This article originally ran on wenatcheeworld.com.

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