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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.

2023 Grant Round

The 2023 VFAIF grant round is now open. Pre-proposals can be submitted from November 1 until December 16. All pre-proposals must be submitted through the portal below.

Key dates:

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.

Grant Documents

Webinars and Presentations


Local Produce Aggregators:

Stephen Versen
Manager, Office of Agriculture and Forestry Development

Download Adobe Acrobat Reader to view PDF files.