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Home > Grants, Loans & Financing > Grant Opportunities > GFAP Technical Assistance Grant > GFAP Technical Assistance Grant FAQs

Good Food Access Program (GFAP) Technical Assistance Grant Frequently Asked Questions


  1. We operate both a small local food retail store and a farmers’ market. Can we apply for funding to purchase a new Point of Sale (POS) system with scanner, training, and equipment and amenities for the farmers’ market?

    No, the GFAP Technical Assistance grant is intended for technical assistance providers who work with eligible retailers. Another round of the GFAP Equipment/Physical Improvement Grant will be available later this spring; some of these needs may be eligible under that program.

  2. We have several farmers’ markets in the city that are looking to coordinate efforts to improve EBT access and promotion for all markets (which all are located in eligible census tracts). Would funding for coordinating efforts (market managers' time, promotional material, etc) be eligible?

    GFAP Technical Assistance funds are intended to support the costs of the technical assistance provider for offering training, resources, etc. as opposed to the costs borne by individual retailers (in this case the farmers’ markets) for implementing what they have learned. Grant funding would be a better fit for the costs of providing the technical assistance.

  3. Our local food co-op and our local community health clinic are seeking funding to start a produce prescription program. The aim will be to encourage patients to shop at the co-op (and purchase fresh produce) rather than primarily getting their food from a local convenience store. The majority of the funding would cover the cost of the food prescription program. Would this project be eligible?

    Grant funding is intended to train food retailers on how to better market to the targeted consumers (and a number of other business-related objectives), rather than directly trying to influence the purchasing habits of the consumer. The purchase of food would not be an eligible expense for this grant program.

  4. We are a non-profit community service organization that operates two food shelves, and we are considering a partnership with a nearby grocer. We will consult with the grocer on stocking culturally appropriate foods for nearby residents (who also make up the clientele of the food shelf). We’d also like to offer coupons for meat to food shelf participants, so that participants can receive a discounted package when they visit the store. The intention is that participants would pick up their meat package but also choose to purchase the culturally specific items on that trip or a return trip. Can we use GFAP funds to pay for a portion of the meat boxes and can we use GFAP funding to purchase culturally specific foods to be sold by the grocer?

    No, GFAP funds are not intended to purchase food. See Question 3. Funding could be used to provide technical assistance to the grocer about culturally appropriate foods.
  5. What are the income levels required to qualify an area as a "low or moderate income" area in Minnesota? (e.g. low income areas have median family income of X and below; moderate income areas have median family income of XX and below...etc.)

    The enabling statute defines low and moderate income areas.

    “Low-income area” means a census tract as reported in the most recently completed decennial census published by the United States Bureau of the Census that has a poverty rate of at least 20 percent or in which the median family income does not exceed 80 percent of the greater of the statewide or metropolitan median family income.

    "Moderate-income area" means a census tract as reported in the most recently completed decennial census published by the United States Bureau of the Census in which the median family income is between 81 percent and 95 percent of the median family income for that area.

    To help simplify for this for applicants, we have created lists of eligible and ineligible census tracts.
  6. In rural areas lacking/losing grocery stores, an existing store likely serves multiple Census tracts, perhaps even multiple townships. There may in fact be only one store in 10-20 miles, and it likely will not be located in a low/moderate income Census tract. Yet if such a store is lost, the impact on the entire community/region would be significant. Can such a store qualify for Technical Assistance under this program only using the "sub-population served" criteria, or does absence of reasonably closely located grocery alternatives by itself make the store eligible for TA delivery?

    A retailer needs to be located in or serve a food desert or other low- or moderate-income census tract that a substantial sub-population, such as the elderly or disabled, with limited supermarket access. A store can qualify for technical assistance by using the “substantial sub-population” option; it is the responsibility of the applicant to justify how the retailer serves this population.
  7. Grantees are requested to to capture data on overall sales of "...affordable, nutritious and culturally appropriate" foods. These are terms of value for public policy, but they are not terms of commerce, and no Point-of-Sale scanning system captures such data. (Data is categorized by major department, such as Grocery, Produce, Deli, etc., and by individual stockkeeping units, or sku's, for each product...but no distinction in commercial data is made for answering questions like "Is this item "affordable" or "culturally appropriate" for a given community). How does MDA define these terms, and how do you envision this data can be captured?

    Grantees (and the retailers they serve) will be responsible for reporting on the measures on page 6 of the RFP. We recognize that retailers are not specifically tracking sales of “affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate foods.” We are still creating the evaluation tool, but we anticipate that the tool will include more broad categories such as “fresh produce,” “grains/flour”, and “meat/poultry”. If you have suggestions on efficiently measuring data, we’re open to hearing them.

  8. As a condition of accepting the grant, grantees are expected to gather and report data for a period of five years after the execution of the grant agreement. (Grantees are only guaranteed funding for about one year, though this may be extended to three years at the discretion of the MDA). Are grantees permitted to encumber funds prior to the end the project to cover grant reporting costs required for the years following the end of the program?

    Unfortunately, we cannot offer funding to cover the full five years of reporting requirements. The MDA reimburses grantees for expenses that have been paid, so we cannot pay off of an encumbrance or purchase order.

  9. Our local food co-op and our local community health clinic are seeking funding to start a produce prescription program. The aim will be to encourage patients to shop at the co-op (and purchase fresh produce) rather than primarily getting their food from a local convenience store. The majority of the funding would cover the cost of the food prescription program. Would this project be eligible?

    Grant funding is intended to train food retailers on how to better market to the targeted consumers (and a number of other business-related objectives), rather than directly trying to influence the purchasing habits of the consumer. The purchase of food would not be an eligible expense for this grant program.


Additional questions will be posted as they are received.

MDA Contact

Ashley Bress, Program Administrator
651-201-6648
ashley.bress@state.mn.us