SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is pleased to announce a competitive grant application process for the Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program. CDFA will fund energy efficient refrigeration units in corner stores and small businesses in food deserts throughout the state to stock California-grown fresh produce, nuts, and minimally processed foods – improving access to healthy food choices in the small retail environment for underserved communities, while promoting California-grown agriculture.
The Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program was made available through the Budget Act of 2018 and will be administered by CDFA’s Office of Farm to Fork . The program will disburse up to $4,500,000 by March 2022. There may be multiple funding rounds if all funds are not awarded in the first round.
“This is an important program for food access in California,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “The objective is to provide as many food sellers as possible with the equipment necessary to offer fresh and healthy foods to customers who may not have access to them otherwise.”
One of the initial supporters of this program was Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), who said, “Your address shouldn’t determine your diet. The state is stepping in to ensure more people have access to healthy and nutritious foods, no matter where they live.”
A range of applicants are eligible to apply for these grants, including corner stores (or their equivalents, such as bodegas or neighborhood stores), small businesses, cities, counties, and nonprofits with healthy retail programs. There are two different proposal forms – one for corner stores and small businesses, and one for cities, counties and nonprofits.
The Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program builds on the success of the California Nutrition Incentive Program (CNIP), which offers nutrition incentives to CalFresh shoppers at certified farmers’ markets and mobile markets throughout the state. With the Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program, CDFA will improve access to California-grown produce in the small-retail sector – and help pave the way for greater participation in CNIP, creating even more value and access for shoppers with low incomes.
More information on the Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program, including the Request for Proposals and Application Template, can be found at http://cafarmtofork.com/hsrgp.html.
–California Department of Food and Agriculture
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