The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets today announced it has issued a Request for Interest (RFI) to gather input from stakeholders that will help the Department shape its new $10 million Food Access Expansion Grant Program. Funding for the program was allocated in this year’s New York State Budget to improve food access infrastructure in underserved communities and builds on Governor Kathy Hochul’s goals of strengthening New York’s food supply chain.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Governor Hochul is committed to growing and streamlining access to food for all New Yorkers, and especially for those in underserved areas. 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.”
Information gathered from the RFI will inform a potential Request for Proposal (RFP) for the grant program, which will support the establishment of farm markets, supermarkets, food cooperatives, and other similar retail food opportunities—in underserved areas of the state. The program will provide infrastructure expansion capital or initial start-up capital for retail food stores or other models of retail food delivery that can create new access points for local markets, shorten supply chains, promote equitable food access, and support local producers.
Respondents submitting a Letter of Interest must specify whether they are interested in Program Administration or Project Implementation, describing either a food access project they would implement or a plan to be an administrator. Interested respondents may submit a letter for one or both of the following opportunities. If applying for both opportunities, respondents are asked to submit two, separate Letters of Interest.
- 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
- Project Implementation of a food access expansion project.
The RFI and additional information on the letter of interest requirements can be found on the Department’s website at https://agriculture.ny.gov/request-interest-rfi-0315-food-access-expansion-grant-program.
In addition, an informational webinar will be held Thursday, October 5 at 2:00 p.m. Register for the webinar here.