The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is offering more than $16 million in grants to help small farms and food businesses withstand ongoing economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grants being offered are designed to improve the strength and resiliency of Washington’s local food systems.
Applications are now open for the WSDA Local Food System Infrastructure grants and are due August 10, 2022.
The Washington State Legislature provided funds from the American Recovery Plan Act to improve local food system infrastructure, supply chains, and market access for farms, food processors, and food distributors.
The Legislature prioritized support for small business
“The COVID-19 pandemic affected small farms and food businesses,” Derek Sandison, Director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture, said. “Recovery and support of small businesses engaged in the local food supply system is essential to enhancing resiliency and assuring that adequate food supplies are available to protect public health.”
The grant is available to farmers, ranchers, food processors, food distributors, and other small businesses and organizations that aggregate, process, manufacture, transport, store, or sell foods that have been grown, caught, or raised in Washington state for Washington consumers.
Grant amounts range from $15,000 to $1,000,000.
Grants awards will be based on the proposed project’s alignment with the purpose of the grant and achievability within the grant period. Grant funds can be used for costs to improve local food system post-harvest infrastructure and market access such as equipment, facility improvements, supply chain and market access coordination, food safety improvements, workforce development, and related operating costs.
The grant program is part of WSDA’s Focus on Food Initiative, ensuring safe, nutritious food is effectively produced and distributed throughout Washington.