Funding Opportunity to Help Small Food Retailers Offer Healthy Local Foods

— Written By Ann Simmons and last updated by
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In many areas of North Carolina, families do not have access to healthy food because they live so far away from grocery stores or because they lack transportation. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recently shared this funding opportunity that could help small retailers get the equipment they need to store healthy foods. Below is an announcement provided by NCDA. The funding priority deadline is January 31, 2018.

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will offer grant assistance to convenience stores interested in offering healthier food options to those living in food deserts in North Carolina. “There are 349 food deserts across North Carolina, impacting about 1.5 million North Carolinians,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Corner stores and convenient stores are integral parts of their local communities, and can play an important role in bringing healthy local foods to the neighborhoods they serve.” The funding is a part of the Healthy Food Small Retailer Program, which is administered by the department. The program was established in the 2016 state budget bill (HB 1030).

The 2017-2018 program will reimburse participating stores for refrigeration, freezers and stocking equipment needed to offer healthier items. Store owners have until January 31 to apply for priority consideration. Applications will continue to be accepted until March 30, subject to availability of funds.

In addition to being in a food desert (online search available at https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-access-research-atlas/go-to-the-atlas.aspx ) store owners applying for funding under HFSRP must meet the following criteria:

  • Accept or agree to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits;
  • Accept or agree to apply to accept Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) benefits;
  • Have no more than 3,000 square feet of heated floor space;
  • Be established as a for-profit business at time of application; and
  • Have not previously received HFSRP funds.

Interested store owners can find more information about the program and download an application at www.ncagr.gov/HealthyRetailer. In addition, store owners may call 919-707-3173 or email HealthyRetailer@ncagr.gov.