The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has announced a competitive application process for the Healthy Refrigeration Grant Program (HRGP). CDFA will fund energy-efficient and climate-friendly refrigeration and freezer equipment in corner stores, small businesses, and food donation programs in low-income or low-food access areas throughout the state of California. New units are to stock California-grown fresh produce, nuts, eggs, meat, dairy, minimally processed, and culturally appropriate foods. The purpose of the program is to improve access to healthy foods in underserved communities, while promoting CA-grown agriculture.

Eligible entities for this program include corner stores, small businesses, food donation programs, and nonprofits working with eligible sites and/or selling or donating food in low-income or low-access areas. Cities, counties, nonprofits or Tribal governments may also apply for equipment on behalf of eligible sites and may apply for up to 20% of total grant awards to provide technical assistance.

Businesses and organizations serving historically and socially disadvantaged populations, including those defined in the Farmer Equity Act, will be prioritized, as well as businesses and organizations owned or led by members of minority or socially disadvantaged groups.

Up to $9 million is available in grants. There is no minimum or maximum amount applicants may request within the available funding pool and no matching is required.

Applications are due via CDFA’s new grant management system, AmpliFund, by 5 p.m. Pacific time, June 6, 2023.

Visit the HRGP webpage for additional resources including the final RFA, documents to guide refrigeration selection, installation, and use, and contact information for technical assistance providers.