ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is pleased to announce that fourteen projects statewide, almost twice as many as last year, have been awarded funding through the Good Food Access Program (GFAP). A total of $233,750 in grant funds has been awarded to projects to purchase equipment and make physical improvements, increasing access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate foods in underserved and low and moderate income communities.

“Upgrading and purchasing new equipment can by a significant barrier for grocery stores and small food retailers and the Good Food Access Program helps to eliminate some of that financial burden,” said MDA Grants Supervisor Ashley Bress. “The grantees are using these funds to offset the costs of equipment purchases like produce cases, refrigerated cases, and freezers.”

Additionally, farmers’ markets are helping to increase access to locally grown foods through installation of electrical outlets, generators, awnings and canopies, coolers, and produce displays.

Dean Knutson of Knutson’s Grocery in Roosevelt, Minn., was awarded a GFAP grant to update his store’s freezers and coolers with newer, efficient models.

“With the equipment we now have, the repairs have been quite costly, and it has been a challenge at times to even find parts. Having new refrigeration equipment will help lower our operating costs thus making the business more sustainable,” said Knutson. “The grant will allow Knutson’s Grocery to provide more choices of ethnic foods, better selection for our WIC and SNAP customers, easy access for the elderly, and also allow us to promote locally grown and Minnesota grown products in keeping with our commitment to health and wellness in our community.”

For more information, including a full list of recipients, visit http://www.mda.state.mn.us/grants/grants/gfapequipmentgrant/gfapgrantrecipients.aspx

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