ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets announced Wednesday that it is now accepting applications for the New York Food for New York Families program. State Agriculture Commissioner, Richard Ball announced the nearly $26 million program, which is funded through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“Just a few weeks ago, we were proud to welcome USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt to New York State for an announcement of this tremendous award,” Ball said. “The New York Food for New York Families program is a perfect addition to our existing programs, like Nourish NY and Farm-to-School. We are looking forward to seeing a strong response from potential applicants and developing new partnerships in our work to support our farmers and provide much needed food to families in need.”

The program has a few goals in mind including, establishing and broadening partnerships between farmers and producers, food distribution, and food networks. Those eligible to apply for the program include not-for-profit organizations, agricultural cooperatives, tribal organizations, public educational institutions, and municipal governments.

There are two grant opportunities available through the program. The first, “Track 1” is a competitive opportunity focused on purchasing and distributing. The awards for this first opportunity will range from $200,000 to $2 million.

The second grant, “Track 2,” is a non-competitive, first-come, first-served grant and will be awarded to organizations working to help producers access new markets, fill gaps in the supply and distribution chain, or increase access to underserved communities. This second award will range from $10,000 to $50,000.

Applications are due on Jan. 18, 2023. For more information and to apply, visit the Department of Agriculture website.