Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) on Microgrants for Food Security



1. How do I apply

An online application form can be found at: You will need to complete all the required fields and click “Submit”. If you need assistance with applying, there will be links to instructional videos and webinars to the right of the application form or contact [email protected].


2.     Is there an application fee?

There is no fee to apply for this subaward (grant).


3.     What if I cannot complete an online application?

If you are unable to complete an application online, please contact us (Phone: 808-973-9594 or Email: [email protected]) to arrange for an application to be mailed to you.


4.     How do I know that my application was received?

You will receive a confirmation email within 1-2 business days.


5.     What happens after I apply?

After you apply, you will receive an email confirmation of HDOA receipt. Then, your application will be scored and ranked.


6.     How do I know if I was awarded?

You will be contacted by our offices regarding your subaward (grant) with further instructions.


7.     I made an error on my application, can HDOA fix it for me?

No. HDOA will not make corrections to your application. If there are errors, you will need to submit a new application. HDOA will only accept the most recent submission per household address. NOTE: Try to keep your submissions to a minimum. Take the time to check and double check your application before submitting.


8.     What should I include in my Project Description and Measurables?

Tell the reviewer what you hope to accomplish through the MGFSP and how you will do it. Describe these items: a coherent plan for your project, an estimate of how much food will be produced over 12 months, how your project will help with food insecurity, how many beneficiaries your project will feed/support (direct and indirect), a description of the project area (lanai, backyard, acres, farm plot, balcony, etc.), how you will complete your project within 1 year and what that timeline looks like, how you will measure and keep track of the amount of food you produce.


9.     When will reports be due to HDOA?

Reports will be needed only from awarded applicants. Report due dates are as follows: Midterm due six (6) months after contract execution, Final due within sixty (60) days after contract completion.


10.  I submitted multiple applications – Can I request for only one of them to be reviewed?

No. HDOA will only review the latest submission per household address.




11. What is considered an eligible entity?

The term “eligible entity” means an entity located in one of the eligible states or territories. Eligible entities are: an individual, an Indian Tribe or tribal organization, a non-profit organization engaged in increasing food security (ex: food bank, food pantry, religious organization), a federally funded educational facility, or a local or tribal government that may not levy local taxes under State or Federal law.


12. What is the application period?

Applications are open from May 15, 2023 to June 15, 2023. All applications must be received by 12:00 P.M. Noon on Thursday, June 15, 2023, as evidenced by the HDOA timeclock.


13. Is HCE compliance required?

Compliance with various state agencies is not required for individuals in this round of microgrants. Compliance will be needed by organizations only.


14. Is insurance required?

Insurance is not required for Individuals in this round of microgrants. Insurance will be needed for organizations only.


15. What federal rules govern this grant?

Fixed Amount Awards: 2 CFR 200.45 H.R.2

Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018: Microgrants for Food Security (Page 175) Equipment: 2 CFR 200.313


16. What are things that I can get disqualified for?

  • Your email is incorrect or comes back as “undeliverable”.
  • The total amount of funds requested do not match the award selections you made.
  • The total amount of funds requested exceeds $5000.00
  • The only address provided is a O. Box address – where there was no mention of a project/residence location (via zipcode and/or TMK) in the project description or address section.


17. Are non-profit organizations eligible to apply?

In this year’s MGFSP program, while the program is open to all entities that are eligible to apply, the fixed amount awards framework applies only to individuals. A separate solicitation will be posted since fixed amount awards are not applicable to programs that mandate a matching requirement and the MGFSP requires a 10% cash match for organizations.


18. Does an applicant need to be a US Citizen?

No. The requirement is that the applicant is over the age of 18 and a resident of the State of Hawaii.


19. Do you need to include a GE Tax number on the application?

No. A GE Tax number is not required for individuals. GE Tax number will be needed for organizations only.

20. I have previously been awarded a Microgrant for Food Security through this program – am I able to apply for another award? My spouse? Others in my household?

Yes, they can apply but priority will be given to eligible entities, including households, that have not received an award under this program.




21. What if I have “left over” funds from a purchase?

In the event that you purchase an item at a cheaper price than the amount awarded for the item – you can use the extra funds to re-invest strictly toward other items that you apply for. All receipts in your report should reflect the items/categories that you select in your application.


22. What if the item I want to purchase costs more than the fixed amount that is awarded?

In the event that this happens, please search for alternatives or pay for the difference out-of-pocket. The fixed amount award cannot be changed.


23. Can I incur expenses before award of the grant?

No. There is no guarantee that your application will be awarded. Any expenses incurred prior to award will not be reimbursed. Awarded applicants will need to be approved by the USDA, sign a contract, and receive their microgrant funds before expenses can be incurred.




24. What is a direct beneficiary?

Direct beneficiaries are people within your household (under one roof) that will benefit from the project.


25. What is an indirect beneficiary?

Indirect beneficiaries are people you will be sharing, selling, or donating food to that are outside of your personal household.


26. Should I use my mailing or my physical address on the application?

You will need to input a project location address AND a mailing address. If a street address is not applicable for your project, please include a TMK as well.


27. There are multiple renters on my property – is each household eligible to be awarded separately?

If the addresses differ, then yes – each household would be eligible to receive a microgrant. However, if all households have the same address, then only one microgrant would be eligible for that household address. EX: 123 Aloha Lane Unit A would be considered a different address from 123 Aloha Lane Unit B.


28.   I don’t know what my zipcode is?

Contact your local United states Postal Office or look up your TMK (Tax Map Key) on your designated county’s “real property tax” website.


29. Who should I put as the “Primary Applicant” on my application?

Enter the name of the primary person, per single household address, that will primarily oversee the project, the project activities, project purchasing, and project reporting.




30. If the food to be produced cannot be harvested or consumed within the time frame of the project, is it acceptable to estimate the amount of food the project intends to produce?

Yes. Tree crops are not expected to be producing a harvest for 5 – 8 years. An estimate of how much food can be harvested in a year would be reported. Same for other crops that may not be ready to harvest before the report is due.


31. What is the time frame for estimating “food produced as a result of this project”?

The 12-month term of the project is the time frame in which you will need to estimate the amount of food produced as a result of the project.




32. What if the item I want to purchase is not included in the listing A-K?

The fixed amount awards are not meant to cover other than what is shown for small-scale gardening, herding and livestock operations in food insecure communities. If the supplies you need fall under a project type category, please select the most applicable item. Utilize the project description and measurables area to further explain your selections. EX: You need a tiller, but “tiller” is not listed. SOLUTION – select “Land Clearing” under section D and explain how you will use the tiller to achieve the goal of your project in your project description.


33. Would a Biogas Methane Digester be an acceptable composting system for my project?

Yes – keep in mind the project is to increase the quantity and quality of locally grown food and should report to the actual and/or estimated amount of food to be produced from the project. Your purchase should not reflect solely as a “commercial gain”.


34. Can I change the budget for project types that I select?

No. Each project type and subsequent item that you can apply for have a fixed amount for each award. However, please refer to question #21 regarding the use of “left over” funds.


35. If I select a project type that requires approval from the Chairperson – how do I get approval?

Please try to explain your project goals, tasks, etc. to the best of your ability in the project description section. If your application is awarded and approved, our offices will work with you and our chairperson, at a later time, to acquire approval.


36. Does Project Type E cover non-permanent, mobile structures like chicken coops?

Yes. Please use this project type for non-permanent, mobile structures such as any “off-the-ground” livestock enclosures.


37. My location does not have water available. Would a portable water tank or rain barrels be an allowable purchase?

Yes. Please select project type A: “Irrigation systems, supplies ($500)”.


38. Can I select different project types adding up to a maximum of $5000?

You can select multiple project types as long as the total amount of funds requested do not exceed $5000.


39. Is fencing restricted to only 8′ or 4′ as listed under Project Type G on the application?

No. Though, 8′ fencing would be recommended to successfully deter axis deer.


40. Is fencing only for keeping livestock in OR can it also be used to keep invasive pests/animals out?

There is no restriction. Fencing can be used for either instance. Though, the use of the fence would need to achieve the purpose of the microgrant; which is to increase the quality and quantity of locally grown food. Therefore, if you are primarily applying for fencing, you will need to quantify the amount of food grown or produced as a result of the fence.


41. Is labor something that I can apply for?

Yes. Please select project type D: “Land clearing, labor support ($500)”.


42. Under Project Type I, is the Master Gardener course itself included with travel to the course?

Yes. Please make this selection if you are to use the funds towards a Master Gardener Class. Approval for travel and methods for tracking/reporting travel will be determined at a later time.



CONTACT [email protected] or call 808-973-9594 for further assistance.