FAQ and Glossary

Can funds be used to reimburse for what we have already spent?
No. Funds may only be used for costs incurred after the award date. Please note that the earliest date a funding decision is expected to be made is August 3, 2023.

Can I apply for both the school-based weekend assistance and the food bank partner agency funding opportunity?
Yes. The Pre-Application process is the same for both funding opportunities, however each will have a separate application. Organizations interested in the food bank partner agency funding opportunity will also complete a Project Assessment phase.

When is it allowable to submit multiple, separate applications?
If you are submitting an application for the food bank partner agency funding opportunity and the school-based weekend food distribution opportunity, you will submit separate applications for each opportunity. An organization does not need to comply with the process for separate applications described below if submitting one application in the school-based weekend food distribution opportunity and one application in the food bank partners agency funding opportunity. 

In certain circumstances, organizations may also submit separate applications for separate projects within the same funding opportunity. See this link for more details. Organizations pursuing separate projects within the same funding opportunity must complete the Separate Project Proposal submission process at this link.

What happens if my project has changed from what was submitted on the Project Assessment? (For Food Bank Partner Agency Funding Opportunity Only).
One of the first questions on the application asks the applicant to identify updates or changes from the Project Assessment. Significant changes from an organization’s Project Assessment Questionnaire will require additional review by the food bank and may result in a change in the food bank’s endorsement

When will funding decisions be made?
At this time, Golden LEAF staff anticipates that the Golden LEAF Foundation Board of Directors will review the first round of applications at their August 2, 2023 meeting. The Golden LEAF Board of Directors meets in the even-numbered months. Applications submitted in subsequent rounds will be reviewed by the Golden LEAF Board of Directors at later meetings.

I see the application can be submitted on March 7, April 14, or April 28. What is the difference in the three application deadlines?
Applications received by the March 7 deadline will be eligible for consideration by the Golden LEAF Board at their August 2, 2023 meeting. Applications submitted by the subsequent deadlines will be considered at later meetings.  (It is possible that the Golden LEAF Board of Directors will defer making a decision regarding some proposals, which would delay the final decision to a later meeting date.)

What is the source of funds for this program?
The N.C. General Assembly appropriated federal funds received by the State of North Carolina through the American Rescue Plan Act. Golden LEAF will award these federal funds in this program. Funds are subject to federal and state monitoring and compliance requirements.

What is the timeframe for use of funds in this program?
Golden LEAF anticipates that all available funds will be awarded by the end of 2023. This program is intended for projects that are ready to be implemented quickly following an award, therefore Golden LEAF anticipates that most funds will be utilized within 12 months of the award. Federal legislation requires that funds be encumbered by December 2024 and spent by December 2026.

My church is currently a partner agency with a North Carolina food bank? Why am I not eligible to apply?

Churches and other places of worship are not eligible to apply. Faith-based organizations that have been recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a tax-exempt organization formed and operated exclusively for charitable purposes and described under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code are eligible. Faith-based organizations must be able to provide the documents required by the Pre-Application process, including an IRS Letter of Determination, list of Board of Directors, and financial information. Organizations whose financial statements are consolidated with the financial statements of a church or other place of worship, are eligible to apply. 

My organization has a fiscal sponsor. Am I eligible to apply?

Only organizations that have received a 501(c)(3) designation letter from the IRS are eligible to apply. Eligible organizations that have fewer than the required two years of operating history may establish or provide information regarding a formal affiliation with an organization that does have the required operating history.


Counties Served: For the purposes of the Project Assessment upload form and the Project Assessment Questionnaire, the county or counties served should only include those where food distribution activities will physically occur. This will not reflect those individuals or households from neighboring counties that may benefit; that information will be gathered later in the application process. Only counties in North Carolina are eligible for this program.

Partner Agency: A nonprofit organization with an active partner agency contract with a North Carolina food bank.

School-based Weekend Food Assistance Programs: A program that has an agreement with a public K-12 institution to provide weekend food assistance. The program must provide food for students to bring home at least once a month (except for summer months). (Aligned with Feeding America’s definition for backpack programs.)

North Carolina food bank: A food bank that is a member of Feeding the Carolinas, a nonprofit corporation, and that serves North Carolina counties.

Enhancing or Expanding Capacity
An increase that can be measured and documented against a baseline of prior activity. Golden LEAF will review reports and other documentation to assess an appropriate baseline. It is the intent of Golden LEAF to leverage existing reporting metrics and processes to assess outcomes for this program. Use of funds must be directly tied to accomplishing the outcome(s) identified from the list below:

Food Bank Partner Agency (Potential New and Existing)

  • Increase in variety of food provided (e.g., more coolers allow for more produce)
  • Increase in number of households served (e.g., more storage space allows for more food to be available for distribution)

School-Based Weekend Food Assistance 

  • Increase in number served (e.g., more storage allows for more food to be distributed)
  • Increase in variety of food provided (e.g., more coolers allow for more produce)

Becoming Eligible to Be
One intent of the program is to provide funds to nonprofit organizations to assist those organizations in becoming eligible to be a partner agency of a North Carolina food bank. Golden LEAF will work with the North Carolina food banks to determine the viability of the applicant organization to become a partner agency at the Project Assessment phase. Only projects that are endorsed by a food bank will move forward to complete an application. 

Funds will be used to address unmet requirements to become a partner agency of a North Carolina food bank. Requirements are established by each North Carolina food bank and may vary across the state. Golden LEAF grant funds may only be awarded to address certain needs that are eligible uses of funds described in this program overview.

Becoming eligible to be is satisfied once funds have been used to address the previously unmet requirement(s), for example, purchasing a cooler to enable cold storage. Nonprofit organizations that receive funding to become eligible to be a partner agency must complete the food bank partner agency application.


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