Charities working to help rural and regional communities doing it tough can now apply for the Aussie Farmers Foundation 2017 Grassroots Grant Round.

Aussie Farmers Foundation helps Australia’s farming communities to thrive, with over $1.3 million in grants being given to rural and regional communities in need since it was formed in 2010 by Aussie Farmers Direct.

Grants are available to fund projects and programs delivered by eligible charities working in one or more of the five nominated focus areas:

– Economic wellbeing of farms and farming families
– Disaster relief for farming communities including drought
– Kids health and healthy eating including food provenance awareness
– Food waste and food security
– Mental health for farming communities.

Eligible charities working in Victoria, the ACT, Western Australia, South Australia and NSW can apply for state-based grants ranging from $5,000 to $30,000; with up to $50,000 available for eligible charities running national programs.

Aussie Farmers Foundation Executive Director Julia Hunter said: “country Australia can be out of sight and out of mind, and yet it’s these communities, the lifeblood of our nation, that often have it the hardest.

“Our grants support charitable organisations who have expertise on the ground in local communities and are working to make a real difference to the health, wellbeing and sustainability of rural and regional Australians.

“We invest in life-changing projects with the support of the community as funds are raised thanks to the generosity of Aussie Farmers Direct customers – who donate as part of their regular orders – as well as individuals, community groups and businesses donating and fundraising across Australia.”

Grassroots Grant winners in 2016 include Project Platypus’ farm sustainability workshops targeting the Upper Wimmera Catchment Area and the WA Centre for Rural Health’s healthy eating and food provenance school program.

All eligible charities need to complete and submit the official Expression of Interest (EOI) application form. Following the closing date for the EOI, shortlisted organisations will be invited to submit a Grant Application Form.

Expressions of Interest are being accepted up until Tuesday 28th February 2017.

Details of the Grassroots Grants program, applicable terms and conditions and the application process are here .