How to Apply: Hunger Relief

Foundation for MetroWest (FFMW) recognizes that there is no singular barrier to food access in our region. As such, its MetroWest Hunger Relief Fund is structured to address hunger as a regional, systemic problem. Our mission for the MetroWest Hunger Relief Fund is to invest in local organizations that work across the food system to eliminate hunger and provide food security to all MetroWest residents.

Prior to and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have recognized the critical role our food support organizations play in MetroWest. The demand for your services from our most vulnerable neighbors continues and we acknowledge the need for additional funding. Through this grant program, the Foundation for MetroWest will utilize federal funds awarded to us through the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) and our own MetroWest Hunger Relief Fund to invest more than $1 million to address to the ongoing needs of our food support organizations across the region.

The Foundation is interested in supporting general operating needs, program/project specific needs, capacity building needs, and select capital needs. The application will provide space for you to specify your needs in one or more of these areas. Only one application should be submitted per organization. Grant awards could range in size from $1,000 to $100,000. There is no minimum request amount. Please contact us prior to submitting your application if your funding needs total more than $50,000.

If your current funding needs outlined in your application meet the criteria to access the Foundation’s CDBG funding through this grant program, the Program team will be in touch to discuss the process and reporting in detail to ensure your ability to meet the requirements. We cannot guarantee funding through other sources if you are not able to meet the federal funding requirements.


Applicants must:

  • Have 501(c)(3) tax status as a registered nonprofit organization OR have an eligible fiscal sponsor
  • Serve the MetroWest region

Types of grants awarded

The Foundation will award grants to support the following through the 2022 Hunger Relief Grant Program:

  • General operating needs
  • Program/project specific needs
  • Capacity building needs, including:
    • Technology – software, consultants, etc.
    • Consultants – strategic planning, governance/leadership/professional development, fundraising, DEI, learning and evaluation, etc.
  • Capital needs, specifically one-time capital expenses for items including:
    • Vehicles
    • Furniture/equipment
    • Technology purchases
    • Other durable assets

Please Note: New buildings, additions, or building enhancements will not be considered.

Grant process

The 2022 grant cycle is an online process and will operate based on the following timeline:

  • Wednesday, December 1st                       9:00 AM            Applications open online
  • Thursday, December 16th                   11:00 AM            Information session
  • Friday, January 14th                             5:00 PM             Deadline to submit
  • Month of February ……………….…………………               Follow up conversations/site visits
  • Mid-March …….……….……………………………..               Applicants notified of decision

How to apply

  1. Beginning December 1st, applicants will have access to the application form online.
  2. If your organization is new to FFMW, please create an account.
    2. See for a short video tutorial.
  3. If your organization has applied to FFMW in the past, please log into your existing account.
  4. Once you are logged into your account, click on the Apply icon from the top menu bar.
  5. Select 2021/2022 Hunger Relief.


If you have questions, please contact our grants team at [email protected].

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can Hunger Relief funds be used to cover rent expenses?
    • Yes, funds that are general operating can be used for your organization’s rent expenses. Funds should not be used for client rent expenses.
    • Please note – If your rent expenses have increased due to new or expanded space, please include that in the request overview section.
  • If we were to request funding to create a training video for new hunger relief volunteers, what category of funding would that fall under?
    • Capacity building
  • Will participating in this grant program affect our eligibility with other Foundation for MetroWest grant programs?
    • No, you will be eligible to apply for other grants for which your organization is eligible.
  • Can any Hunger Relief funds be used for direct client emergency assistance for food relief, COVID-related or otherwise especially for undocumented immigrant clients?
    • Yes, gift cards or direct food purchases are eligible under program/project specific funds.
  • Are we eligible to apply if we have a pending application for hunger relief support with the Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program (FSIG)?
    • Yes, but please keep the Foundation updated during the FSIG process. If you are awarded grant funding through FSIG, you may need to withdraw your application to the Foundation’s Hunger Relief Grant Program.
  • How do we know the Area Median Income (AMI)?
    • To understand the AMI for your community, please use the following website: Income Limits | HUD USER:
      • Select 2021 at the top and then click on IL Documentation
      • Select Massachusetts-MA and city/town; click on “View County Calculations”
      • In the chart provided, you are looking for the “Low (80%) Income Limits” by # of persons in family
    • We are asking whether you can confirm that a majority (51% or more) of your clients live at or below 80% of the AMI
  • Can you apply only to receive CDBG funding?
    • No, you are applying to the Foundation’s Hunger Relief grant program, and the Foundation will determine if you are eligible for CDBG funds.
  • If hunger relief is only one of our program offerings as an organization, should any grant request to you all only be to support our food related programming?
    • Yes, you will only be able to apply for funds that directly support your hunger relief efforts.
  • We are building a new space or renovating our current space – can we request capital funds for these efforts?
    • The Foundation will not consider brick and mortar capital projects, but we would consider one time capital needs to outfit your space, including shelving, refrigerators, and freezers, etc.
  • Can we utilize these funds to purchase household goods (paper towels, toilet paper, laundry detergent, etc.) or hygiene items (diapers, soap, feminine hygiene products, etc.)?
    • No, this grant program will only focus on the purchase of food or efforts to provide food to clients.
  • Can I request funding in only one of the areas (general operating, capacity building, capital needs, project support)?
    • No, you may ask for funding in one or more of the areas if your current identified needs are across more than one of the areas.
  • Is there a minimum or maximum request amount?
    • No, we are considering requests between $1,000 and $100,000. If you request is more than $50,000, we just ask that you write to us at [email protected] to share 2-3 bullets about your needs, including a high level cost breakdown to ensure we feel it aligns with our priorities and available funds.
  • Will you consider supporting a new project or initiative?
    • We will not be prioritizing new projects and initiatives, but we are happy to review your request.
  • What does the Foundation consider as part of the MetroWest region?
    • We serve the following cities and towns: Acton, Ashland, Boxborough, Carlisle, Concord, Dedham, Dover, Framingham, Harvard, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lexington, Lincoln, Marlborough, Maynard, Medfield, Medway, Milford, Millis, Natick, Needham, Sherborn, Southborough, Stow, Sudbury, Walpole, Waltham, Wayland, Wellesley, Westborough, Weston, Westwood