CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FOOD & AGRICULTURE: Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program Awards More Than 2.8 Million

California Department of Food & Agriculture issued the following announcement on July 18.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announces more than $2.8 million in funding is being made available to 28 small businesses, community-based organizations and local governments throughout California in the first round of the Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program.

The Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program (http://cafarmtofork.com/hsrgp.html) funds energy-efficient refrigeration units in corner stores and small businesses in low-income areas with low access to full-service grocery stores. New refrigerators will stock California-grown fresh produce, nuts and minimally processed foods – improving access to healthy food choices in the small retail environment for underserved communities, while promoting California-grown agriculture.

“With the Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program, we’re improving access to California-grown produce in low-income neighborhood stores,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “This also paves the way for these small retail outlets to participate in our California Nutrition Incentive Program, which creates value for CalFresh shoppers by doubling the money they have to spend on healthy, California-grown fruit and vegetables.”

The 28 proposals selected for awards through the competitive process include 15 nonprofits, nine corner stores/small businesses, three counties and one city. The nonprofits, counties and city will provide refrigeration units and technical assistance to various corner stores in their regions. All together, refrigeration units are being provided to approximately 175 corner stores throughout California. The bulk of grantees are located in the Bay Area, Central Valley and Los Angeles regions, with several grants also made in the Central Coast, Sierra Range and South Coast/Border areas.

Click here for a complete list of Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program recipients. (http://cafarmtofork.com/docs/HealthyStoresRefrigerationGrantProgramAwards_July2019.pdf)

The Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program has been championed, and was created in 2018 through the State Budget, by Assemblymember Phil Ting, D–San Francisco, Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee. The Assemblymember has been instrumental in establishing programs – including the California Nutrition Incentive Program (CNIP) – that encourage the purchase and consumption of healthy, California-grown fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts at certified farmers markets and mobile markets throughout the state. Both CNIP and the Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program are managed by CDFA’s Office of Farm to Fork, which is committed to helping all Californians access healthy and nutritious California-grown food.

“Your address should not determine your diet, but in reality, it often does,” said Assemblymember Ting. “I’m excited to see the grants I secured moving ahead to fix this inequity and help California’s underserved communities access healthy and nutritious food.”

A second request for proposals (RFP) for the Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program is expected to be released this fall so that more small businesses, community-based organizations and local governments have an opportunity to take advantage of the total $4.5 million available for grant distribution. Information will be updated on the website (http://cafarmtofork.com/hsrgp.html) once available.

Original source can be found here.

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California Department of Food & Agriculture

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