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The second round of grants through the Community Food Access (CFA) program is now available for small food retailers and small family farmers. This opportunity allows these small food businesses to apply for up to $50,000 to expand opportunities for Coloradans living in low-income, low-access communities to purchase healthy groceries. This application round will close on March 11, 2024.

“Every Coloradan deserves access to healthy food, and we are proud to help support Coloradans and the organizations that are helping break down barriers to food access for people across our state,” said Governor Polis.

The goal of this grant is to lower prices of healthy food and increase availability in low-income and underserved areas of Colorado by helping small food retailers and small family farms invest in their capacity to provide healthy food.

Small grocery stores, corner stores, carnicerias, farmers markets, farm stands, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, and small farmers may be eligible for the grant, which can cover costs of expanding food access, including equipment, operating expenses, storage or display shelving, and much more. Guidance for eligibility, including eligible expenses, and a link to the grant application can be found at ag.colorado.gov/CFAgrant.

“We received almost two hundred applications in the first round, demonstrating the infrastructure needs of small food businesses who hope to expand access to fresh, healthy food for Coloradans in all parts of our state,” said Community Food Access Program Manager Mickey Davis. “This funding will have a positive impact on communities where there are few options for purchasing healthy food.”

The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) has contracted with Outreach and Technical Assistance providers in select regions of the state. Interested business owners can get help filling out their grant applications by working with one of CDA’s partners across Colorado. Additionally, CDA held a feedback session for the first round of the grant, which can help potential applicants learn more about what makes a good application.

The first round of the Small Food Business Recovery & Resilience Grants closed on November 7, 2023. The process of selecting awarded proposals was extremely competitive with over $7 million in requests. Nearly $2 million is being awarded in Round 1 and up to $6 million is available for all rounds of funding. Any eligible business can apply for funding in Round 2, including those who received funding in Round 1 or whose applications were declined.

For information about the grant and to fill out an application, visit the grant webpage, which includes:

  • Eligibility information
  • Grant Priorities
  • Recordings of information sessions and reflections from Round 1
  • Frequently asked questions
  • What to expect after receiving an award

One of the priorities of the Colorado Department of Agriculture is to advance local food access. The Community Food Access (CFA) program is part of CDA’s efforts to support the development of local food networks by helping communities access fresh, healthy food from farms and ranches across Colorado. Additionally, the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure (RFSI) Program provides critical support for non-meat processing and value-added opportunities for Colorado’s producers. The application period for the RFSI grants will open on February 7, 2024.

The Community Food Access program and the Small Food Business Recovery and Resilience Grant were established in House Bill 22-1380, utilizing State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. The rules of the grant program were developed with extensive feedback from the CFA Grant Advisory Committee and stakeholders across the state.

For any other questions, contact CDA_CFA@state.co.us.