New grant program aims to support farmers markets, small-scale agricultural facilities in Virginia

Virginia

FILE – In this Sept. 18, 2014 file photo, produce is displayed for sale at a farmers market in Kalamazoo, Mich. A study released on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 suggests that trimming dietary fat and eating more fruits and vegetables may lower a woman’s risk of dying of breast cancer. (Katie Alaimo/Kalamazoo Gazette via AP)

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — There’s a new grant program aiming to support farmers markets and small-scale, local food infrastructures in Virginia.

On Wednesday, Governor Ralph Northam announced the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Facility Grant program which officials say is designed to “support equitable and sustainable local food systems for small-scale agricultural producers, farmers markets, and food hubs.”

The program competitively awards matching grants of up to $25,000 for infrastructure development projects in local communities that support local food production and sustainable agriculture.

Delegate Sam Rasoul’s House Bill 2068 created this grant program during the 2021 General Assembly session. The legislation authorizes the Governor to award grants of up to $25,000 to political subdivisions.

The reimbursable grants are primarily for capital projects at new and existing food hubs, farmers markets, commercial kitchens and other value-added facilities such as those for the processing and packaging of meats, dairy products, produce, or other Virginia-grown products.

Organizations looking to apply for the funding can submit their applications from October 1 through November 15.

Final award announcements will be made no later than December 31 of this year.   

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