Saturday, May 18, 2024

WSDA opens $2 million grant program to boost local food infrastructure

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OLYMPIA - The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) announced it is accepting applications for $2 million in grants to strengthen local food supply chains and market access across the state. The Local Food System Infrastructure grants will provide funding from $10,000 to $75,000 to farmers, ranchers, food businesses, and organizations working to expand Washington's regional food systems.

 “Small farms, ranches, and food business entrepreneurs play an important role in maintaining Washington’s vibrant and robust local food system,” said WSDA Director Derek Sandison. 

Eligible projects include those focused on post-harvest handling, aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storage, distribution, and sales of locally sourced food products. Grant funds can be used for physical infrastructure like processing facilities and business planning.

The state legislature approved the $2 million funding pool to bolster collaboration and linkages across Washington's local and regional food supply chains. An additional $1.5 million in federal coronavirus relief funds is also available for specific meat processing projects.

Applications are open now through April 17. Full program details and application materials are available at agr.wa.gov/grants or by emailing localfoodinfrastructure@agr.wa.gov. The grant program is part of WSDA's broader Focus on Food Initiative, which promotes safe, sustainable food production and distribution statewide.

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