February 13, 2024

Funding is currently available through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) for two grant programs to help expand access to fresh and culturally appropriate foods to low- and moderate-income areas.

The two grant opportunities are part of the MDA’s Good Food Access Program (GFAP): The GFAP Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant and the GFAP Technical Assistance Grant. The agency will award up to $935,000 between the two programs in this funding cycle.

The GFAP Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant helps grocery stores and small food retailers purchase equipment or make physical improvements that will allow them to increase the availability of and access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate foods (including produce) for underserved communities in low- and moderate-income areas. Applicants for this grant may request between $5,000 and $75,000 for their projects.

Examples of eligible Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant projects include the purchase and installation costs of items like shelving, coolers, and freezers; mobile food trucks; permanent infrastructure at farmers’ markets; or architectural work. Projects that demonstrate positive economic and health impacts on underserved communities will be prioritized for funding.

The GFAP Technical Assistance Grant is available to assist nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and for-profit businesses in providing appropriate technical assistance to eligible food retailers — such as grocery stores, corner stores, and farmers’ markets — interested in providing affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate foods. Applicants to the Technical Assistance Grant may request between $5,000 and $50,000 per project. However, collaborative projects that include multiple technical assistance providers may request up to $200,000. Grants can cover up to 75% of project costs.

Examples of technical assistance include guidance and resources on topics such as business and succession planning, financing, marketing, food procurement or distribution, and handling and merchandising fresh foods.

To be eligible, applicants for both grants must be located in or serve a census tract designated as a food desert or must serve a substantial subpopulation, such as the elderly or disabled or those in a low- or moderate-income census tract, who have low supermarket access. Tribal communities and other organizations that serve Native American tribal communities are also eligible and encouraged to apply.

Application materials for both grants are due by 4 p.m. Central Time on Thursday, March 28, 2024. For full details on eligibility requirements and the application process, review the request for proposals (RFPs) posted on the GFAP Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant and the GFAP Technical Assistance Grant web pages.


Media Contact
Logan Schumacher, MDA Communications