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Wolf Administration Expands Food Recovery Infrastructure Grants to Help the Charitable Food System

April 28, 2020

Grants to eliminate food waste will help keep food banks stocked and prevent farm losses

The Wolf Administration is making immediate changes to the Food Recovery Infrastructure Grant Program to help ensure food banks are adequately supplied to meet the needs of Pennsylvania residents.

Increased demand on the charitable food system related to COVID-19 has demonstrated an immediate need for resources to support additional cold storage space, and more flexibility and changes to this grant program. The changes also encourage partnerships between nonprofit organizations such as food banks and farms, processors and cooperatives that continue to experience challenges within the food supply chain as a result of the COVID-19 emergency.

“At a time when our fellow residents are facing hunger and financial hardship, we all have a moral obligation to do what we can to help, and that includes expanding this grant program, quickly delivering grant awards, and helping ensure that food is not being wasted,” Governor Tom Wolf said.

Changes to the grant solicitation process include:

  • Closing the round of grant eligibility on May 8 to review applications and deliver awards as soon as possible;
  • Expanding the list of potential partners beyond retailers and wholesalers to also include farms, processors and cooperatives; and
  • Removing pre-application meeting requirements to expedite applications.

The changes to the program are effective immediately.

This $4 million grant program is an opportunity for the charitable food system to apply for up to $200,000 in grant funding offered through the new Food Recovery Infrastructure Grant Program. This funding is available for Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations for grant assistance for the proper management and operation of food waste reduction pursuant to the Pennsylvania Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act of 1988, Act 101.

Food Recovery Infrastructure Grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations such as food banks, shelters, and soup kitchens to cover the costs of equipment purchases necessary to prepare, transport and store food acquired from retailers, wholesalers, farms, processors and cooperatives. Examples of eligible equipment include refrigerated or non-refrigerated box trucks, industrial-sized refrigerators, pallet jacks and/or dollies. Installation and shipping costs will also be eligible for support.

To apply, the applicant must describe its current food recovery operation and explain how the food infrastructure equipment will enhance its current program. The organization must also provide a description of the proposed program and provide what food retailers, wholesalers, farms, processors and cooperatives will be partners for the project. Additionally, the organization must provide a description of how the program will be operated by staff and or volunteers.

“Making these changes will help us get more food to the people who need it and help prevent harvested crops from spoiling or otherwise going to waste,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.

The deadline to apply is Friday, May 8. Learn how to apply for the Food Recovery Infrastructure Grant Program.

View this information in Spanish.

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