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Apply for Vegetable Seed Grants

Rotarians against hunger

Rotarians and friends of Rotarians: do you have an idea for a vegetable gardening program to fight hunger in the developing world? Need seeds? We can help!

The Rotarians Against Hunger project is led by US Western North Carolina-based Rotary Clubs in Rotary District 7670. The project gives vegetable seeds to fellow Rotarians worldwide for nutrition, education, and income development projects.

Rotarians partner with NGOs or other community groups who distribute seed. Projects give training to help people use the seeds effectively. Read about one successful Rotarians Against Hunger project here.

Program Basics

  • Apply to receive seeds, including inspection and shipping costs.
  • We don’t give cash.
  • Apply for 1-5 cartons of seed. Each carton holds about 1500 home garden-size packets of vegetable seeds, enough for 200 households to plant a garden.
  • Seeds are provided by North Carolina-based Seed Programs International (SPI) and shipped from Michigan, USA. SPI staff will work with you and your in-country partners to choose seed types that are right for the climate, culture, and program goals. For more information see www.seedprograms.org.
  • Projects may work on the level of households, villages, microenterprise projects, farmer cooperatives, school gardens, orphanages, IDP/refugee camps, or other settings.
  • Seeds are available only to projects outside of the US and Canada.

How We Choose Projects

Applications are competitively evaluated based on these criteria:

  • Demonstrated Need. Nutrition is a community need; vegetable growing is a promising strategy to address that need.
  • Local Sourcing Not Possible. Appropriate, quality vegetable seeds are not available local to the project.
  • Partnerships. Project applicant should be a Rotary club or district. Preference will be given to projects which have strong partnerships with local NGOs or other community groups. The partner group must be able to effectively manage seed distribution and provide consistent program support and monitoring in the community served.
  • Location. Rotarians Against Hunger seeks to give seeds for a mix of worldwide locations. The regulatory environment for importing seeds may make some destination countries less feasible. Contact SPI to learn more about this. Please do not apply for seeds for projects in the US or Canada.
  • Match. We do not want to be the sole supporter of a project. Applying Rotarians should already be invested in the community or have plans to provide items or training that complement the seed use. Examples include tools and materials, soil inputs, water access, training cost, local travel for distribution, etc.
  • Customs and Import. Applicants or their local partners are responsible for costs of clearing seed shipments from customs and local import permit fees.
  • Reporting Plan. By applying for and receiving seeds, you agree to report to Rotarians Against Hunger and SPI. Reports cover project results including stories, photos, outcomes, successes, and challenges.  Your reports give us material for publicity and program improvement.

Please note: if you are a returning applicant who has received seeds before, we may choose to reduce your quantity in order to support others. Our hope is that the local clubs or institutions or growers, seeing repeated value in the program, can choose to begin to invest their own funds in sourcing seed locally or from SPI.

To Apply

Complete your online application. Our deadline is September 30, 2018. We will review applications as they come in. We may contact you sooner with clarifying questions about your project. Thank you for your application to partner with our Rotary district.

This application is also available as a Word document.

Questions? Contact peter.marks@seedprograms.org.


Funding for seeds is available due to the generosity of Rotarians and many other community members across our District and beyond. Logistics support is provided by Seed Programs International. See rotariansagainsthunger.org for more details.