Reading, July 9, 2020 − The Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative (FFFI), a statewide public-private financing program that invests in new or expanding grocery stores and other healthy food retail outlets in the state, has received $10 million as part of the PA CARES appropriation that is to be doled out to eligible food retailers in one-time grants, State Sen. Judy Schwank (D-11th District) announced.
“I’ve long advocated for everyone to have access to fresh, local food – no matter where you live,” Schwank said. “I’m happy to see these grant funds become available and I highly encourage our eligible grocery stores, farm stands and farm markets to apply.”
The Initiative aims to:
- provide grant support to food retailing businesses impacted by COVID-19 to ensure that amidst the pandemic, low-income and underserved communities are able to maintain healthy food access;
- contribute to better health outcomes by improving access to fresh foods and, to the extent practicable, Pennsylvania grown and produced agricultural products (eligible products include fresh fruits and vegetables, milk and dairy products, and meat products grown or processed in Pennsylvania);
- stimulate investments in lower-income communities and in food retailing businesses that are owned by people who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and that serve lower-income BIPOC communities;
- remove financing obstacles and operating barriers for grocery stores and other healthy food retail in lower-income communities;
- strengthen the local food system and increase market opportunities for Pennsylvania farmers;
- support the creation and preservation of jobs and create and retain a qualified workforce.
Applications will be accepted by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture until August 14, 2020. For more information on how to apply, visit https://www.agriculture.pa.gov/Food_Security/Pages/Fresh-Food-Financing-Initiative-COVID-19.aspx