New York Produce
July 24, 2023
Albany, NY

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Announces Applications Open for FreshConnect CSA for SNAP Grant Program

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Announces Applications Open for FreshConnect CSA for SNAP Grant Program
$250,000 Available to Increase Access to Locally Grown Foods and Support New York’s Farmers

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced that applications are open to New York organizations for the FreshConnect CSA for SNAP program. This program will help to give Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants in New York increased access to weekly shares of fresh, locally grown produce through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) initiatives by defraying up to half the cost, while also lending additional support to New York’s farmers and producers. This program builds on Governor Kathy Hochul’s goal to boost demand for New York agricultural products, bolster New York's food supply chain, and ensure all New Yorkers have access to fresh, local foods. 

Commissioner Ball said, “We’re working hard to ensure that all New Yorkers across the state can access fresh, nutritious produce grown by our hardworking farmers. The FreshConnect CSA for SNAP program is a great addition to our programming, helping our residents enrolled in the SNAP program to have more access to the bounty of New York’s farms. I encourage all eligible organizations to apply to be a part of this great program and help their neighbors in need.”

The FreshConnect CSA for SNAP program will help SNAP participants working with awarded organizations better access the popular CSA model. The purchase of weekly CSA shares using SNAP funds will be offset to lower the cost to consumers, while still providing the farmer with the full price of the food. Up to 50% of the cost of a weekly share purchased by a SNAP recipient with their SNAP benefits may be paid by awarded organizations through this program.

Awards for this opportunity will be made on a rolling basis until funds are depleted. A total of $250,000 in funding is available through this Request for Applications. Applicants may request a minimum of $10,000 and a maximum of $50,000. 
Applications must be submitted through the Grants Gateway by 3:00 p.m. on October 20, 2023. To provide an overview of the program for potential applicants, a FreshConnect CSA for SNAP Program - Informational Webinar will be held on Thursday, August 3, 2023 at 11:00 am. 

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Additionally, earlier this year, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a new initiative to double the buying power for SNAP recipients at farmers' markets across New York State. The FreshConnect Fresh2You initiative now provides eligible New Yorkers with a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $50 per day at participating farmers’ markets, which allows families in need to purchase more healthy food, including produce, dairy, and meats. 

These programs build on Governor Hochul's strong commitment to farmers and the local food production pipeline in her 2023 State of the State Address. New York State’s FY 2024 Budget includes strong investments aimed at boosting demand for New York agricultural products, bolstering New York's food supply chain, and ensuring all New Yorkers are able to produce and access fresh, local foods. The Budget enhances New York's community garden programming with $2 million in funding, and it includes a $10 million grant program to support the establishment of farm markets, supermarkets, food cooperatives, and other similar retail food stores, along with supporting infrastructure in underserved communities and regions of the State. These programs will improve food access opportunities in traditionally underserved communities.