RICHMOND – Governor Ralph Northam introduced that the appliance interval for the inaugural Virginia Meals Entry Funding Fund (VFAIF) is now open by way of April 30.
VFAIF will present grants between $ 5,000 and $ 50,000 to assist enterprise improvement, building, rehabilitation, tools improve, or enlargement of grocery shops, small meals retailers, or progressive meals retail initiatives that improve entry to meals in underserved communities.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issue of meals insecurity and traditionally marginalized teams are bearing a disproportionate burden,” stated Governor Northam. “This fund will assist our ongoing work to strengthen native meals methods by encouraging funding in meals deserts and growing entry to nutritious and inexpensive meals the place it’s wanted most, which in flip will assist stimulate regional economies and enhance well being. basic of our communities. “
In 2020, Governor Northam signed Invoice 1509 and Senate Invoice 1073 which created the Virginia Meals Entry Funding Fund and Program.
Based on officers, about 1.7 million Virginians, together with 480,000 youngsters, stay in low-income areas with restricted entry to wholesome meals.
Virginia has used stimulus funds to supply $ 219 million for the pandemic EBT program by way of the Division of Social Companies, $ 85 million for little one vitamin applications, $ 7 million to assist meals banks, and $ 1.four million to supply meals packing containers to Virginia households by way of the “We Care” Initiative.
“Research present that individuals who stay in communities and not using a grocery store typically endure from disproportionately excessive charges of weight problems, diabetes and different diet-related well being issues,” stated Senator Jennifer McClellan. “The Virginia Meals Entry Funding Fund will help right this error. The Virginia Meals Entry Funding Fund not solely helps place the Commonwealth as a pacesetter in lowering meals disparities, but it surely additionally helps construct group belongings, delight and energy by and with traditionally underserved communities. “
The VFAIF software will be accessed by way of the right here.