The Virginia Food Access Investment Fund (VFAIF) is a statewide program created in 2020 by the General Assembly (see code) that seeks to support local food systems by investing in projects that improve retail access to fresh foods in low-income areas with poor access to these foods. The VFAIF Program awards grants of up to $50,000 for the construction, rehabilitation, equipment upgrades, or expansion of grocery stores, small food retailers, or innovative food retail projects in underserved communities. VFAIF-funded projects must have a retail component, accept federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, and participate in the Virginia Fresh Match nutrition incentives program.
Goals of the program include:
- increasing fresh food access in underserved communities;
- creating wealth and leadership opportunities in these communities;
- supporting sustainable, community-owned businesses;
- fostering innovative solutions that improve food access;
- developing and sharing successful food business models;
- reducing food insecurity by strengthening local food systems; and
- improving health outcomes in low-income, low-access communities.
2024 Grant Round
The next VFAIF grant round will open in the fall of 2023 with awards being made in the spring of 2024. Details on the upcoming grant round will be posted here later this year. For more information on eligibility requirements and details on grant administration, please review the guidelines posted below.
November 1, 2022: The pre-proposal window is open. All potential grantees must submit a pre-proposal.
November 17, 2022: Informational webinar (optional – registration link below)
December 2, 2022: Informational webinar (optional – registration link below)
December 16, 2022: Deadline to submit a pre-proposal
December 21, 2022: VDACS staff will notify applicants if they have been selected to submit a full application
February 10, 2023: Deadline to submit application
May 2023: Awards are announced
For more information on eligibility requirements and details on grant administration, please review the guidelines posted below.
A map of the 2021 inaugural grant round awardees can be found here.
Webinars and Presentations
- How to Apply for the Virginia Food Access Investment Fund
Local Produce Aggregators:
Jen Perkins, Acting Manager, Office of Agriculture and Forestry Development
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