Request for Proposal: 
Community Gardens Mini-Grants

This mini grant opportunity is provided by United Way of Central Iowa in partnership with Eat Greater Des Moines.

United Way of Central Iowa established a goal to improve the health of our community by 2020. One of the strategies for accomplishing this is to increase the availability of and access to healthy foods and fresh fruits and vegetables. The mission of Eat Greater Des Moines is to identify, develop, and connect resources with the broader community to support the entire food lifecycle in central Iowa. United Way of Central Iowa is serving as the administrator and funder of the grants process with expert guidance and support from Eat Greater Des Moines.   

Application Process 


Applicants for the mini-grants must be located in Polk, Dallas, or Warren County. For purposes of this funding, a community garden is defined as an area of land managed and maintained by a group of individuals to grow and harvest food crops for non-retail, personal or group use, consumption or donation. Community gardens may be divided into separate plots for cultivation by one or more individuals or may be farmed collectively by members of the group and may include common areas maintained and used by group members. For purposes of this funding, the garden cannot be used for retail or job training programs.  

Submission Process


Please note: the informational session scheduled for January 30 is cancelled. View slides with Information Here.

All proposals must be submitted to Jennifer Klinkhammer at by 5:00 p.m. on February 18, 2019.

Please download and fill out the following proposal form:


 Download a Word Document version here.


New and existing community gardens are eligible to apply. Priority is placed on gardens that serve communities with limited access to healthy foods, such as high poverty or food desert neighborhoods. If awarded, the awardee will be required to report food production either on a monthly or end-of-season basis by pounds or count.


  • Must be a community garden located in Polk, Dallas or Warren County
  • Request must be between $500 and $1,500. A maximum of $35,000 in grants will be awarded.
  • Allowable expenses include equipment, irrigation supplies, water meter fees, seeds, planting, landscaping, scales, signage, or other necessary items to create, update or enhance a garden space.
  • Funding may be used for a new or existing garden
  • Funding will be reimbursed for purchases and/or vendors will be paid directly
  • Awardees will be required to report food production either on a monthly or end-of-season basis by pounds or count (assistance will be available)
  • Eligible funding will be released as soon as March 22, 2019 and no later than June 30, 2019
  • An information and technical assistance session will be held January 30, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. at United Way of Central Iowa, 1111 9th, Suite 100, Des Moines

Please Note:
  • Submission of proposal does not guarantee funding.
  • Awarded funding does not guarantee ongoing funding.
  • United Way of Central Iowa may request additional information regarding your proposal before making a final decision on funding.
  • Multiple applications from the same organization are permitted.


Request for Proposal – Competitive Grant notice released January 11, 2019

Optional Information and Technical Assistance Session / Question and Answer Session


This call has been cancelled due to cold weather on January 30. 
Grant Submissions Due  February 18, 2019, by 5:00 p.m.

Award Notification

No later than March 22, 2019

Eligible Funding Released

As soon as March 29, 2019, and no later than June 30, 2019

Questions? Contact Erin Drinnin at 246-6518 or