Grant applications due by March 17

Funding for equipment that increases availability and access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food to underserved communities is now available.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is now accepting applications for the 2022 Good Food Access Program (GFAP) Equipment and Physical Improvement Grants.

A total of $320,750 is available to help grocery stores and small food retailers purchase equipment or make physical improvements that will allow them to stock more fresh foods, including produce. Projects must be located in, or serve, census-designated food deserts or low- and moderate-income communities with limited access to supermarkets.

The MDA anticipates awarding between 10 and 18 grants of up to $50,000 this year. A cash match is not required.

Potential projects may include the purchase of shelving, mobile food trucks, permanent infrastructure at farmers’ markets, architectural work, and display or storage coolers and freezers, as well as the costs associated with installation. Other projects may also be considered.

Grocery stores and small food retailers like corner stores, mobile markets, and farmers markets, may apply. Multi-site proposals are encouraged. Up to 50 percent of the award may be requested in advance. Applications are due by 4 p.m. on March 17.