The Austin Food & Wine Alliance continues to increase the amount of money it gives away each year through its culinary grant program.

Now in its ninth year, the alliance has given away more than $320,000 to local food business and nonprofits in grants that range from $2,000 to $20,000.

Dozens of local organizations have benefited from this financial support, including Confituras, a local jam company that opened a brick-and-mortar shop in 2017, to Barton Springs Mill, which is building a new heritage grain mill near Dripping Springs.

Non-profits and food companies that could use additional funding this year can submit an application through Oct. 15 at austinfoodwinealliance.org. The alliance will award $70,000 in grants at a ceremony in early December.

Eligible applicants might include farmers, artisan producers, chefs, wine/beer/spirits makers and "culinary businesses and culinary professionals whose projects and initiatives show innovation and impact to the community." If you're curious about the application process, AFWA is hosting an information session at Confituras at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 1.

Last year's recipients included Multicultural Refugee Coalition's paid-apprentice program that training refugees in Central Texas in organic and sustainable farming practices and expanding crop production to grow plants traditionally eaten and highly desired by refugee communities in Austin and Foodways Texas' preservation project to document the history of the modern Texas wine industry.

RELATED: Local flour mill, refugee farming program win big at Austin Food & Wine Alliance grant night

After 25 years, Central Market is still changing the way we think about groceries

“Being able to support and enable the dreams of so many in our community is truly a heartfelt mission for our organization,” Mariam Parker, Executive Director of the Alliance, said in a release. “We are privileged to do this work and are so grateful and inspired by the many chefs, artisan producers, bartenders, wine- and spirit-makers who have contributed to our remarkable culinary landscape.”The grants are funded by the Austin Food & Wine Festival and AFWA's events, including Live Fire!, the Official Drink of Austin Cocktail Competition and Wine & Swine Annual Pig Roast, which will be held on Nov. 24 at Camp Mabry.

These events also raise money for the AFWA's annual Culinary Arts Career Conference, which returns this week on Thursday. The event isn't open to the public, but it's a day-long conference at the Palmer Events Center that will bring together more than 500 high school culinary students from around Central Texas. (If you've ever donated cookbooks to the Statesman's ongoing cookbook drive, those cookbooks and food magazines go to students and culinary instructors who attend the conference.)

THE BEST OF AUSTIN360 RADIO