July 13, 2024

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Virginia Foods Entry Financial investment Fund to help food retailers, projects in food items deserts : Augusta Totally free Push

Virginia Foods Entry Financial investment Fund to help food retailers, projects in food items deserts : Augusta Totally free Push

Virginia Foods Entry Financial investment Fund to help food retailers, projects in food items deserts : Augusta Totally free Push

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Close to 1.7 million Virginians – including 480,000 small children – live in lower-income places with restricted entry to healthier food items.

Virginia has committed substantial federal stimulus money to addressing foodstuff insecurity, together with $219 million for the Pandemic EBT system as a result of the Section of Social Companies, $85 million for little one diet packages, $7 million to guidance foods banks, and $1.4 million to present foods packing containers to Virginia families by the “We Care” initiative.

The software period of time for the inaugural Virginia Foodstuff Entry Financial commitment Fund begins now and will stay open through April 30.

VFAIF will give grants concerning $5,000 to $50,000 to assistance enterprise advancement, development, rehabilitation, products updates, or growth of grocery merchants, compact food items merchants, or revolutionary food items retail initiatives that raise food items accessibility in underserved communities.

Previously this yr, Gov. Ralph Northam signed Residence Monthly bill 1509, sponsored by Del. Delores McQuinn, and Senate Bill 1073, sponsored by and Sen. Jennifer McClellan, making the Virginia Food Accessibility Expense System and Fund. Investing in progressive food items retail tactics via the Virginia Food stuff Access Financial investment Method and Fund is just one of the plans outlined in the not long ago released Virginia Roadmap to Close Hunger.

“Many Virginians deal with the challenge of discovering enough ample foods to manage a nutritious diet plan for their households,” McQuinn explained. “This challenge has an effect on citizens in city and rural spots alike, primarily individuals living in lessen-money and minority communities. The Virginia Foodstuff Entry Investment Fund provides resources to get farmers markets, mobile markets, grocery stores, co-ops, or corner retail store supermarkets into the communities that will need them the most.”

“Studies display that individuals residing in communities without having a supermarket often go through from disproportionately superior costs of obesity, diabetic issues and other diet plan-associated wellness complications,” McClellan mentioned. “The Virginia Food items Obtain Financial commitment Fund can assistance ideal this incorrect. Not only does the Virginia Food items Obtain Investment decision Fund help situation the Commonwealth as a chief in lowering food items disparities, it also assists to establish local community belongings, pleasure, and electrical power by and with traditionally marginalized communities.”

VFAIF follows the Equitable Food stuff-Oriented Development product of making use of meals and agriculture to produce economic opportunities and wholesome neighborhoods in historically marginalized communities. Historically marginalized communities as outlined within VFAIF are minority or underserved, and all those dealing with very low food items accessibility.

“Addressing food items safety remains a precedence for this administration and the coronavirus pandemic has amplified the value of this operate,” Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring explained. “The Virginia Food stuff Expenditure Fund is a exceptional opportunity to productively establish and maintain local community-dependent enterprises, give entry to risk-free, balanced foodstuff within just the underserved places of the Commonwealth, and help Virginia’s agriculture business.”

The Virginia Section of Agriculture and Client Services will administer the method in partnership with a picked Neighborhood Enhancement Money Institution.

The VFAIF application can be accessed by means of the VDACS website. A done Equitable Food stuff-Oriented Self-Evaluation ought to accompany each application.

“VDACS is using the services of a foodstuff entry program coordinator to aid the VFAIF, present technological aid and outreach to grant candidates, and support with the software process and grant implementation,” VDACS Commissioner Jewel Bronaugh stated. “We are also scheduling a number of digital workshops to aid potential lover food-centered organizations with the application process.”

More info about VFAIF is available below. Questions about VFAIF program or the application workshops ought to be directed to [email protected].