State expands grants to help charitable food system

From staff reports

The Wolf administration announced immediate changes to the Food Recovery Infrastructure Grant Program as a result the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a news release from Gov. Tom Wolf’s office, an increased demand on the charitable food system related to COVID-19 has prompted the need for immediate resources to support additional cold storage space, and more flexibility and changes to the $4 million program.

The changes also encourage partnerships between nonprofit organizations, such as food banks and farms, processors and cooperatives, the release said.

Changes to the grant solicitation process include:

– Closing the round of grant eligibility on May 8 to review applications and deliver awards as soon as possible.

– Expanding the list of potential partners beyond retailers and wholesalers to include farms, processors and cooperatives.

– Removing pre-application meeting requirements to expedite applications.

Grants will be awarded to nonprofits such as food banks, shelters and soup kitchens to cover the costs of equipment purchases, the release said.

Examples of eligible equipment include refrigerated or nonrefrigerated box trucks, industrial-sized refrigerators, pallet jacks and/or dollies, the release said. Installation and shipping costs will also be eligible for support.

To apply, the applicant must describe its current food recovery operation and explain how the food infrastructure equipment will enhance its current program, the release said.

The organization must also provide a description of the proposed program and provide what food retailers, wholesalers, farms, processors and cooperatives will be partners for the project.

Additionally, the release said, the organization must provide a description of how the program will be operated by staff and or volunteers.

The deadline to apply is Friday, May 8.

For more information, go to and click on “Grants.”