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Home > Grants, Loans & Financing > Grant Opportunities > GFAP Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant > GFAP Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant FAQs

Good Food Access Program (GFAP) Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Can the GFAP Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant be used to purchase equipment to process industrial hemp into hemp concentrate to be used for medicinal, beverage, and food products?

    GFAP Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant is intended to help small food retailers and grocery stores purchase equipment/make improvements to their stores to help them sell more nutritious and culturally appropriate foods. The processing of hemp and other agricultural commodities is not covered under this grant. The AGRI Value Added Grant is a more appropriate program for the project. Please see page 3 of the RFP for further details.

  2. Can GFAP funds be used for a senior congregate feeding site?

    No, the GFAP funding is not intended for congregate feeding sites regardless of whether the customer pays for their meal or not. These funds are intended for grocery stores and small food retailers as defined in on page 4 of the RFP.
  3. Can GFAP funds be used for a food pantry/food shelf?

    No, GFAP Equipment and Physical Infrastructure grants cannot be used for typical food shelf operations. These funds are intended to help retailers (i.e. sellers of unprepared foods) sell more affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate foods. However, if the food shelf also operates a retail outlet, that portion of the organization may be eligible for GFAP funding.
  4. Can GFAP funds be used for a small restaurant?

    No, the GFAP funding is not intended for restaurants. Funding is limited to retailers, such as grocery stores, corner stores, and farmers’ markets.
  5. Can GFAP funds be used for pick-your-own farms?

    GFAP funds cannot be used for the growing/harvesting of fruit from trees and bushes. However, many pick-your-own operations have facilities where customers come to pay for their fruit and buy pre-picked fruit and other items. GFAP funding may be used to purchase coolers, shelving, etc. that is needed for retail purposes. The retail operation would need to meet all eligible location criteria.
  6. Can GFAP funding be used to support a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm?

    GFAP funds cannot be used for the growing/harvesting of products. However, a CSA operation may need equipment such as coolers and refrigerated trucks in order to sell their shares and products. The CSA operation would need to justify how the equipment would be used to support retail sales in eligible locations.
  7. Our store is located around several senior high rises. We currently accept SNAP/EBT and we are licensed a retail food handler. Do we need to also accept WIC to be eligible for the GFAP Equipment and Physical Infrastructure Grant?

    Yes. The statute that governs the Good Food Access Program is clear that grant recipients must accept SNAP and must apply to accept WIC, and if approved, accept WIC benefits. While it’s not imperative that the applicant have already applied to accept WIC, the applicant will need to do so as a condition of receiving a GFAP Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant award.
  8. We’re a farmers’ market. Can we buy land for the market?

    No. Land and building purchases are listed as ineligible costs in the RFP. Although the land/building are ineligible, you might consider other infrastructure needs that would in the building on or land such as tables, sheds, coolers, etc.
  9. We are a cooperative food store with sales in excess of $2 million. What type of entity are we considered in the GFAP?

    The definitions of grocery store, small food retailer, etc don’t include sales requirements. However, the “grocery store” definition includes cooperative self-service retail establishments and recognizes stores that are doing a large volume. Pick the answer that you think best represents your organization.
  10. What types of letters of support should we include?

    It’s to you to determine if you include letters of support and who those letters would be from. We provide a few suggestions such as community-based organizations that are active in the healthy eating arena, local producers/distributors, and financial institutions that may be backing your project. See page 13 of the RFP.
  11. Is a match required?

    A match is not required. We encourage you to think about the investments (monetary or non-monetary) that you can contribute to your proposal. For example, if you are looking to buy a cooler, you might think about if your organization can do the installation.
  12. Is a Meals on Wheels/home delivery meal service program eligible for funding under this program?

    A Meals on Wheels/home delivery prepared meal program does not meet the eligible applicant criteria. Eligible applicants are for-profit and not-for-profit grocery stores and small food retailers. The definition of “small food retailer” includes businesses and organizations such as corner stores, convenience stores, farmers’ markets, mobile food market, and retail food outlets operated by an emergency food program or food hub. These entities are primarily focused on the sales of unprepared foods rather than prepared meals.
  13. Does a retailer need to participate in SNAP to be eligible for this grant? We have some convenience stores that serve the target audience but cannot participate in SNAP because of the minimum stocking requirements.

    Yes, a retailer must participate in SNAP to be eligible for this program. Please see page 2 of the RFP. This requirement is set in statute.
  14. There’s a fillable PDF for the application, but some of the longer, narrative questions don’t have response fields. How do we submit those?

    You can submit those questions as a separate Word/PDF document. However, if you have the ability to submit your application via our online grants management system, you should do it that way. This will ensure that a) you don’t miss a question or go over the character limit, and b) ensure that all the information is inputted as you intended. If you have to submit your proposal via email or snail mail, we’ll enter it into system, but if possible, you should do this as the applicant.
  15. Our timeline is fairly tight. Some of our eligible costs may need to be incurred between application and possible award of funds; would that make those costs for grant funding ineligible?

    You are correct that we can only pay for expenses incurred after you’ve been notified of award. We expect to notify successful applicants 6-8 weeks after the grant closes; the exact timeline will depend on the number of applications that are received. We do know that time is of the essence for these. In your budget, only include the projected expenses that will be eligible for this grant based on the timeline. In the Investment section, you might want to talk about those ineligible expenses to demonstrate the organization’s commitment to the project.
  16. Can applicants upload supporting materials like pictures at some point in the application process?

    Yes, we are able to accept supporting materials like pictures. We request that any supporting documentation sticks with the spirit of word counts. For example, it wouldn’t be appropriate to upload a 20 page business plan, but a few pictures is fine. You can use any of the upload boxes in the online application for this.
  17. Is there anyway to prove low-income, low-access communities are served by a store even if the store is located in an ineligible census tract?

    During this round of grants, we are only able to accept proposals from retailers located in an eligible census tract.
  18. May "total project cost" include staffing costs covered by other funders (which we have secured) or must it include only the equipment purchases and physical improvements?

    Total project costs must only include eligible expenses. For example, if you have a $100,000 project, you would receive up to $25,000 under this grant and the other $75,000 must also be equipment/physical improvements. Any operating costs would not be eligible to be counted towards that $75,000.
  19. Can GFAP funding be used for vehicle leases or fuel?

    GFAP Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant funding cannot be used for leases or fuel. We generally consider short term leases as operating costs, which are not covered by this opportunity. The only exception would be if it was a lease-to-own arrangement. The organization would need to have full ownership of the vehicle by the end of the contract, set as September 30, 2018 in the RFP. As for fuel, we always consider that to be an operating expense.
  20. Must a retailer be participating in SNAP prior to submitting a proposal?

    Yes, a retailer must be participating in SNAP at the time the proposal is submitted.
  21. The applicant has some freezers in storage that were supposed to be installed, but they ran out of funds before they could be installed. Would equipment installation in this case be eligible, so they could be installed as planned? The existing freezers are old and not in good condition.

    Yes, GFAP Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant funds may be used for installation costs. Page 3 of the RFP specifically cites installation as an eligible cost.
  22. On the Expected Outcomes table, it anticipates sales of fruits and vegetables. One portion of our project includes sales, but the other includes access through the food shelf. How can we capture this? Should we use an estimated value of the produce that will be recovered and provided at the food shelf at no cost to clients?

    The GFAP Equipment/Physical Improvement Grant focuses on increasing the sales of affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate foods through retailers. Complete the Outcomes Table to the best of your ability based on project sales figures.
  23. Are there any limit on the number of the Letters of Support?

    There is no character limit on the letters of support.
  24. As this project involves a private for-profit, our partnership will have two MOUs. Would these be uploaded as Letters of Support? Would you need both Letters of Support from partner organizations in addition to the MOUs?

    You are welcome to upload MOUs as letters of support to demonstrate commitment from the partner organizations. You might consider also having a letter of support from one of the organizations focused on their commitment to this specific project.
  25. Will equipment that comprises a full-service kitchen in a grocery store in addition to coolers, salad bars, and warmers needed for display on the front-end be eligible for funds under this grant program?

    The RFP doesn’t specifically preclude items that are necessary for ready-to-eat foods. However, the program is primarily focused on increasing the sales and accessibility of unprepared foods rather than prepared, and it doesn’t fund restaurants.