The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is requesting proposals for grants to increase access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate foods in underserved and low- and moderate income communities. Roughly $150,000 is available for Equipment and Physical Improvement Grants through the Good Food Access Program (GFAP).
Grants must stimulate sales of affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate foods – including fruits and vegetables – by assisting grocery stores and small food retailers in making physical improvements or purchasing equipment.
According to a 2016 study published by the Federal Reserve Bank and Wilder Research, roughly 30 percent of Minnesotans have low retail access to healthy food.
“Many communities in Minnesota face challenges when it comes to connecting people to healthy, affordable food options,” said MDA Grants Specialist Ashley Bress. “Fresh fruits and vegetables are essential parts of a healthy diet. These grants help retailers stock those nutritious foods by purchasing equipment and related physical infrastructure, which can be an expensive barrier for smaller grocery stores and farmers markets.”
Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant funds may be used to purchase retail display coolers and freezers, storage coolers and freezers, shelving, mobile food trucks, permanent infrastructure at farmers markets, architectural work, and costs associated with the installation of equipment for physical improvements. For-profit and not-for-profit small food retailers and grocery stores (including farmers markets) are eligible recipients.
In addition to the Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant funds, approximately $75,000 for Technical Assistance Grants will be available through the Good Food Access Program later this spring.
To apply for Equipment and Physical Improvement Grants online, visit http://www.mda.state.mn.us/grants/grants/gfapequipmentgrant.aspx. Proposals must be received no later than 4:00 P.M. Central Standard Time on Wednesday, April 19, 2017.
Alauna Yust, MDA Communications