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Local Food Infrastructure Fund: Infrastructure and Equipment Improvement Projects - Applicant Guide

Important notice

Please note that the program intake period is now closed.

For your convenience, this report is available in the following format:
PDF (435 KB)

Applicant guide

Purpose of this guide

This guide will:

  1. Help you determine if you may be eligible for funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) under the Local Food Infrastructure Fund – Stream 1: Infrastructure and Equipment Improvement Projects.
  2. Provide you with directions and explanations to assist you in completing an application for the program's inaugural call for proposals.

1.0 About the Local Food Infrastructure Fund

The Local Food Infrastructure Fund (LFIF) is a five year, $50 million initiative ending March 31, 2024. The program is part of the Government of Canada's Food Policy which is Canada's roadmap for a healthier and more sustainable food system in Canada. The LFIF aims to strengthen food systems and to facilitate access to safe and nutritious food for at-risk populations.

The fund consists of two streams.

The first, entitled Infrastructure and Equipment Improvement Projects, aimed at small community-based organizations will allow them to improve their infrastructure and purchase equipment that is directly related to the accessibility of healthy, nutritious, and ideally, local foods within their community.

The second stream, entitled Projects to Strengthen Local Food Systems, aimed at larger organizations, will target groups of community, private, academic and other organizations that collectively have the mission to reduce food insecurity in a sustainable manner by strengthening or establishing a local food system.

The following guide will provide information on the Infrastructure and Equipment Improvement Projects Stream. Applicants targeting larger projects may wish to wait for the launch of the second stream in early 2020 to apply.

Stream 1: Infrastructure and Equipment Improvement Projects

Under this stream, three calls for proposals will be launched over a period of five years. The first projects may be submitted to the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) between August 15, 2019 and November 1, 2019.

1.1 Eligible applicants

Eligible applicants are not-for-profits such as:

To be eligible, an applicant must:

1.2 Eligible projects

Projects should be infrastructure specific and funding should be dedicated to improving access to safe and healthy foods for at-risk Canadians. All projects will be required to demonstrate a public good benefit and outcome. No profits should be derived from the projects undertaken and all benefits should return to the community targeted.

Eligible projects:

1.3 Eligible costs

Under the Stream 1: Infrastructure and Equipment Improvement Projects, eligible costs include:

The following table demonstrates the eligible costs under this program and any limitations or instructions you need to know to help you complete your budget.

Capital Expenditures

Eligible cost items

Capital Assets are tangible assets that are purchased, constructed, developed or otherwise acquired and:

  • are newly purchased and/or constructed items not previously owned
  • are required for the execution of the project
  • must be retained for two years post project completion and are not intended for resale in the ordinary course of operations
  • may also include betterments (which are defined as being expenditures relating to the alteration or modernization of an asset that appreciably prolong the period of usefulness of the item or improve its functionality)
  • the cost of which is considered to include the purchase price plus other acquisition costs, such as installation costs, freight charges, transportation insurance costs, duties, and the non-refundable portion of provincial sales taxes, GST/HST or other value-added taxes

Examples specific to this program:

  • refrigerators/freezers
  • refrigerated trucks
  • community kitchens
  • food processing equipment
  • cold storage/shelving/forklift
  • solar panels/generators/fuel storage
  • greenhouses
  • community gardens/roof-top gardens
  • urban farms
  • irrigation systems/rain water capture
  • digital systems
  • used capital items are not eligible
  • the purchase of land or buildings is not eligible
  • the purchase or lease of private/personal vehicles is not eligible
  • assets and capital items not specifically required for the project are not eligible

Other Direct Project Costs

Eligible cost items

Project costs associated with the completion of the project (that is labour, materials, etc.), not including Capital Assets


The purchase of perishable and/or non-perishable food is not eligible.

Other ineligible project costs include, but are not limited to:

Retroactive costs may be eligible from November 1, 2019.

Invoices and proof of payment for all costs incurred under a project must be retained and made available to AAFC if/when requested in order for costs to be reimbursed or for audit purposes.

1.4 Funding and cost sharing

Maximum funding amount

Applicants will be eligible to receive between $5,000 and $25,000 in non-repayable funding.

Successful applicants will be required to enter into a Contribution Agreement (CA) with AAFC.

Cost sharing

As a general rule, applicants must demonstrate that they can provide at least 50% of the total project cost. The applicant contribution can be a combination of cash and in-kind contributions (for example, materials and labour).

Applicants must clearly indicate all sources of funding for the project, including other industry and/or partner sources of funding from:

What is a cash contribution?

A cash contribution is an expense requiring a cash outlay, by either your organization or by a participant/contributor (such as a partner or other government), during the term of the project. A cash contribution made by another project participant should be reported as part of your sources of funding, and must be an eligible project cost.

What is an in-kind contribution?

In-kind means the fair market value attributed for goods and the fair value attributed for services that are contributed to a project and require no outlay of cash. These contributions must be for eligible project costs. These can not be reimbursed by AAFC.

2.0 Expected results

LFIF is expected to strengthen food systems to be resilient, integrated and sustainable, and to facilitate access to safe and nutritious food for at-risk populations.

As organizations make increased investments in local food infrastructure, their capacity to provide healthy and nutritious food within their community will increase.

Organizations will be able to provide an improved or more efficient level of service, expanded services, or an increase in the number of service offerings. This increase in capacity will lead to an increased availability of healthy and nutritious food within the communities with projects supported by the LFIF.

3.0 Assessment process

Proposals will be evaluated based on merit, and ranked based on the following priorities:

4.0 Reporting on your project

Recipients will be required to report on expenditures, performance and results.

Performance and results report

Recipients will be required to provide a final report which should include a short story about the impact that the investment has had on the community being served. The report may also include photos, videos and social media posts on the project activities and outcomes.

Budgetary reports

Recipients must retain copies of quotes, invoices, and proof of payment for eligible project costs incurred. An expenditure report is required with requests for reimbursement and may require proof of purchase up to 40% of total costs.

Other reports may be required at AAFC's discretion.

05.0 M-30 Act (for Quebec)

The Province of Quebec's M-30 legislation may apply to Quebec based applicants only.

More information on the Act is available online or by contacting the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation (MAPAQ) at

M-30 applies to various types of Quebec organizations. For example, organizations located in Quebec and receiving more than half of their financing from the Government of Quebec may be subject to the Act.

All Quebec based organizations will have to address this matter and demonstrate their compliance with the Act during the project assessment process, and prior to entering into a CA.

6.0 How to apply

Applications will be accepted between August 15, 2019 and November 1, 2019. Applicants may submit one proposal per intake period. Priority of funding for each stream will be given to organizations not previously funded in previous streams. Project activities must be completed by March 31, 2021 under this stream.

AAFC offers you the ability to apply online. For information on how to complete a project application, refer to Annex A: How to apply.

A complete online application package consists of a completed AAFC online Local Food Infrastructure Fund application form, letters of support, and a copy of the organization's Certificates or Articles of Incorporation.


It is the applicant's responsibility to identify any information contained in an application that is considered commercially confidential. This information will not be disclosed unless required by law, including the Access to Information Act, or upon express authorization of the applicant.

7.0 After you apply

Once an application has been submitted, an acknowledgment notice will be forwarded to the applicant.

Note: Applicants should not consider an application as submitted to the program until an acknowledgement notice is received.

Once you submit an application, our goal is to:

Please note that even if a project meets all eligibility criteria, the submission of an application creates no obligation on the part of the Minister or Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada officials to provide funding for the proposed project. The Minister retains discretion to determine, based on other public policy and public interest considerations, whether an application that meets the criteria identified in this Guide will ultimately receive funding.

8.0 Contact us

For more information on the Local Food Infrastructure Fund, please contact us by:


Telephone: 1-877-246-4682
TDD/TTY: 613-773-2600

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Local Food Infrastructure Fund
1341 Baseline Road
Tower 7, Floor 8, Room 223
Ottawa, ON K1A 0C5

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