NEW YORK (WWTI) – The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets announced it has issued a Request for Interest, for its new $10 million Food Access Expansion Grant Program.

The request will gather input from stakeholders that will help shape the Department’s new program. Funding for the program was allocated in this year’s New York State Budget to improve food access infrastructure in underserved communities and will also build on Governor Kathy Hochul’s goals of strengthening the food supply chain in NY.

“…The new $10 million program is an exciting opportunity for the State to make a real impact in this space and develop additional locations around the State that will provide healthy, local food for our communities. I encourage any potential applicants to submit a letter of interest, helping the Department to put forth the best possible program that will ensure we are most effective in reaching our goals and increasing food access in New York State.”

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball

The Request for Interest and additional information on the letter of interest requirements can be found on the Department’s website, Deadline to Provide Information is Monday, October 30.

Information gathered from this request will inform a potential Request for Proposal for the grant program, supporting programs in underserved areas of the state by:

  • Establishing farm markets;
  • Supermarkets;
  • Food cooperatives; and
  • Other similar retail food opportunities.

The program will provide capital for infrastructure expansion or initial start-up for retail food stores or other models of retail food delivery to:

  • Create new access points for local markets;
  • Shorten supply chains;
  • Promote equitable food access; and
  • Support local producers.

Participants submitting a Letter of Interest must specify whether they are interested in describing either a food access project they would implement or a plan to be an administrator. If an individual is applying for both opportunities, they are asked to submit two, separate Letters of Interest.

Participants may submit a letter(s) for one or both opportunities:

  1. Administer the Food Access Expansion Grant Program statewide or in a designated geographic area.  The administrator will run a competitive grant program to disperse funding; or
  2. Project Implementation of a food access expansion project.

An informational webinar will be held on Thursday, October 5 at 2 p.m., individuals can register Here for the webinar.