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Smart Growth

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Local Foods, Local Places

On this page:
General Program FAQs
  1. Are there specific outcomes or reporting that are expected as part of this program?
  2. Is there a cost to the communities selected for technical assistance?
  3. Can the program be combined with other programs that provide loans and/or grant money?
  4. Are grant funds strictly for planning purposes, or can brick and mortar projects be considered as well?
Eligibility FAQs
  1. Must projects be located in Opportunity Zones to be eligible for LFLP funding?
  2. Our city received LFLP assistance in a previous year. Can we apply for another neighborhood this year?
  3. Is a neighborhood within a city eligible for the assistance?
  4. Does the applicant have to be a single community, or could a region apply for the planning assistance?
  5. If an applicant has recently been awarded another federal grant, would that disqualify the applicant for this assistance?
  6. Can an entity apply for more than one neighborhood or town in the region as long as they are separate applications?
  7. Can applicants also apply to other EPA technical assistance programs?
  8. Are U.S. territories eligible to apply?
  9. Can a local college, public university, or extension agency be a lead organization?
  10. Should the point of contact be with the organization that is applying?
  11. Can someone other than the point of contact manage the project?
Application Process FAQs
  1. Should I combine my application into a single file with the letters of interest?
  2. What should I do if I am unable to save the information I enter into the fillable form?
  3. How often do you solicit applications?
  4. How many communities will be selected for this round?
  5. Can my project change after I submit my application?
  6. How will you let me know about the status of my application?
Technical Assistance/Workshop FAQs
  1. What is the anticipated start date of assistance, if received? How long is the technical assistance expected to last?
  2. Can funds be used for other types of technical assistance besides a workshop?
  3. Who provides the technical assistance? Can it be provided by members of the community? Can we suggest people who we think would be a good fit to consult for the specific community applying?
  4. Will workshops be held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Updated October 1, 2020.


General Program FAQs

1. Are there specific outcomes or reporting that are expected as part of this program?

There are no formal reporting or other requirements after the technical assistance process is completed. However, we do reach out to the local steering committee in the two-year period after the workshop to learn how things are going and any progress being made toward completing the action plan.

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2. Is there a cost to the communities selected for technical assistance?

Most communities incur little to no cost aside from staff time devoted to planning and participating in the workshop. The program does not provide any funds directly to communities. The community is responsible for securing a venue for the workshop, although most communities are able to identify a no-cost venue. In addition, the technical assistance award does not include funds for refreshments at the workshop, so any refreshments are provided at the community's discretion and cost.

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3. Can the program be combined with other programs that provide loans and/or grant money?

While we do not formally combine programs, one of the goals of this program is to ensure that other community investments are as productive as possible. Applicants with existing funding should explain how that work would be coordinated with this planning assistance.

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4. Are grant funds strictly for planning purposes, or can brick and mortar projects be considered as well?

Local Foods, Local Places (LFLP) is not a grant program. Communities will not receive funds directly from EPA. Selected communities will receive access to technical experts who will work with them to hold a two-day convening that brings together stakeholders in the community to develop an action plan for creating more vibrant downtowns and neighborhoods by promoting local foods. We encourage participation from federal and state agencies and other potential funding partners in the workshops, so that communities can learn about how they might apply for additional resources to help them accomplish their vision, but those funds are not guaranteed.

Local Foods, Local Places assistance is strictly for planning purposes and cannot be used for brick and mortar projects.

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Eligibility FAQs

5. Must projects be located in Opportunity Zones to be eligible for LFLP funding?

No. Projects located anywhere in the United States are eligible for this assistance. Projects located in federally designated Opportunity Zones may receive special consideration during the selection process.

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6. Our city received LFLP assistance in a prior round. Can we apply for another neighborhood this year?

Any community in the United States is eligible to apply even if the community has received assistance in the past. If applicable, the application should explain how additional assistance will build on the prior work.

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7. Is a neighborhood within a city eligible for the assistance?

Yes, communities of any size are eligible. However, larger cities are encouraged to focus on a specific neighborhood's retail corridor or central business district rather than a citywide project.

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8. Does the applicant have to be a single community, or could a region apply for the planning assistance?

Regional organizations are eligible to apply. However, the application should request assistance for a single neighborhood, town, or city and identify a strong local partner. Countywide projects should focus on improving Main Streets and mixed-use neighborhoods. Multi-county or state-level projects are not eligible for this assistance.

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9. If an applicant has recently been awarded another federal grant, would that disqualify the applicant for this assistance?

No. If applicable, the application should explain how this assistance would complement the work to be completed with the help of other federal funding.

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10. Can an entity apply for more than one neighborhood or town in the region as long as they are separate applications?

Yes, applicants can submit multiple, separate applications for consideration. However, no more than one application from a single neighborhood or town will be selected for assistance.

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11. Can applicants also apply to other EPA technical assistance programs?

Yes, applicants can apply to more than one program. However, applicants will receive assistance from no more than one program through the Office of Community Revitalization in 2021.

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12. Are U.S. territories eligible to apply?

Yes, U.S. territories are eligible for this assistance.

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13. Can a local college, public university, or extension agency be a lead organization?

Yes, local colleges, universities, and extension agencies can serve as the lead organization. However, it is important to show evidence that you'll be able to bring together community stakeholders, including residents, to a public workshop.

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14. Should the point of contact be with the organization that is applying?

Yes, the point of contact should be from the lead organization. If there is a strong partner organization, mention that in the text of the application. An optional letter of support from partner organizations can help demonstrate their commitment to participate fully in the technical assistance process.

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15. Can someone other than the point of contact manage the project?

No, the point of contact listed on the application should be the person that will actually manage the project. The point of contact does not need to be the leader or a senior member of the organization as long as the person is empowered to make decisions concerning the project and would be an effective leader of a local team consisting of representatives from partner organizations.

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Application Process FAQs

16. Should I combine my application into a single file with the letters of interest?

No. The application and letters of interest must be submitted as two separate files. The application must be submitted in the original (not scanned) format. Multiple letters of interest should be combined into a single file.

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17. What should I do if I am unable to save the information I enter into the fillable form?

You must use the latest version of the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software Exit to save the fillable form.

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18. How often do you solicit applications?

Past solicitations have occurred on roughly an annual basis. Solicitations for another round will depend on future funding.

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19. How many communities will be selected for this round?

We don't know exactly how many yet, as funding is still being worked out.

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20. Can my project change after I submit my application?

We understand that projects advance and therefore might change between the time of the application and the start of the technical assistance. However, significant and substantive changes in the community's goals or the planned location of new assets would need to be discussed with and approved by EPA for the technical assistance process to continue.

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21. How will you let me know about the status of my application?

EPA will email or phone the point of contact listed in the application form to notify you of your application's status. The point of contact should be the person who will communicate directly with EPA. It is the responsibility of the applicant to update EPA with any changes to the contact information listed on the application form. If the contact information is incorrect or out of date, your application will not be further considered.

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Technical Assistance/Workshop FAQs

22. What is the anticipated start date of assistance, if received? How long is the technical assistance expected to last?

Workshops will likely occur during summer 2021. The exact timing will depend on the community's preference and availability and the facilitators' schedules. Three planning calls generally begin seven to 10 weeks before the workshop, and three follow-up calls generally are completed eight to 12 weeks after the workshop.

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23. Can funds be used for other types of technical assistance besides a workshop?

No. All selected communities will receive planning assistance that centers around a two-day workshop.

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246. Who provides the technical assistance? Can it be provided by members of the community? Can we suggest people who we think would be a good fit to consult for the specific community applying?

The assistance will be provided by a team selected by EPA that might include federal staff and/or contractors hired by EPA through a competitive solicitation. EPA will select a single contractor team for multiple communities that we will serve through this round.

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25. Will workshops be held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Local Foods, Local Places workshops were held virtually in 2020 due to the pandemic. The program sponsors will make a determination on hosting in-person or virtually for 2021 closer to the beginning of the workshop season, likely in April or May 2021. The determination will be based on trends in available public health data, federal guidance for agency travel, and local health department restrictions.

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