February 20, 2019

Transporting Healthy Food Grants Winners Announced

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Conservation Fund today announced the grant recipients for the 2018 Grant Program for Transporting Healthy Food. Twelve charitable organizations located in Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia will receive grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 to improve their capacity to store and safely deliver fresh, healthy food in their communities.

For many food producers and distributors, limited resources make it a challenge to safely store, package and transport fresh, healthy produce. Such barriers contribute to the struggles facing more than 23 million Americans that live in food desserts, or areas where they have limited or no access to fresh produce, dairy, meat or seafood.

Now in its fifth year, the Grant Program for Transporting Healthy Food, sponsored by leading freight transportation company CSX, is working to address this by providing funding to local food distribution organizations to support their operations and efforts to purchase and expand vital infrastructure such as mobile markets, cold storage units, packaging material and more needed to better to store, package, transport and ultimately support community access to fresh, healthy food.

“CSX is proud to partner with The Conservation Fund on this important initiative to promote the distribution of healthy food to those in underserved communities,” said John Kitchens, CSX’s director of community investment“The Fund’s Transporting Healthy Food grant program has given hope to thousands of families, while strengthening local food producers and communities.”

This year’s funding will allow the 12 recipient organizations to collectively serve an additional 43,400 families with more than 605,000 meals.

“Through the generous grant from CSX and The Conservation Fund, Feast Down East will be able to ensure that financial support of the mobile farmers market program, to better reach individuals in food insecure neighborhoods with fresh, local and healthy produce on a weekly basis,” said Jordyn Appel, Community Food Access Coordinator with Feast Down East, a 2018 grant winner in North Carolina.

“Year after year, we are amazed at the on-the-ground impacts of local organizations working to ensure that fresh, healthy food is available to the communities they serve,” said Katie Allen, director of The Conservation Fund’s Conservation Leadership Network. “Our goal for the Transporting Healthy Food Grants is to support the vital work of these critical organizations in expanding the network of convenient fresh food in areas that need the most help. By ensuring more local, healthy food makes it to the dinner table in these communities, these recipients are improving the health and well-being of people in their service areas and the livelihoods of local farmers.”

The Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit dedicated to finding conservation solutions that balance environmental and economic needs, has partnered with CSX to address gaps in local food distribution and find local partners who can help enhance delivery capabilities. Since the program’s establishment in 2014, the grant funding is projected to enable recipient organizations to collectively serve an additional 355,158 families with more than 42 million pounds of food and increase the number of meals provided by more than 35 million.


Camden County Office of Sustainability and Shared Services, Blackwood, New Jersey
Camden County is the first and only county in the State of New Jersey to have an Office of Sustainability.  The Office manages a number of greenhouses where it grows a variety of fruits and vegetables year-round to supply lunches for the County’s senior programs. The County will use the grant to purchase a walk-in refrigeration cooler, freezer and food preparation equipment to gain the ability to store larger quantities of produce grown at it greenhouses.

Crab Orchard Baptist Church, Beckley, West Virginia
The Crab Orchard Baptist Church is a welcoming community of believers growing together in Christ, deliberately sharing God’s love across the aisle, across the street, and across the world. The Church will use the gran to purchase a refrigerated van that will allow their team to travel farther and offer a better quality and healthy food options—like meat, dairy products and produce–to its community.

Feast Down East, Burgaw, North Carolina
Feast Down East is a nonprofit organization working to grow the local food system in Southeastern North Carolina. Its mission is to create a healthy, accessible local food system, which supports economic growth in this region. The grant will support maintenance of the Feast Down East Local Motive Mobile Farmers Market van so it can continue to operate and distribute fresh, local produce in public housing neighborhoods of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Feeding the Gulf Coast, Theodore, Alabama
Feeding the Gulf Coast works through member organizations and special programs to provide nutritious food to meet the challenge of feeding people who are hungry as a result of personal crisis or disaster. Its three branches along the Central Gulf Coast distribute over 19 million meals annually to the 24-county service area. The organization will use the grant to help purchase a used cargo van and convert it into a refrigerated van for healthy food and fresh produce deliveries in hard to reach, rural communities in its Alabama and Mississippi service areas.

Ginn Farms, Aurora, Indiana
Ginn Farms is a fresh local food collaborative of southeast Indiana. Its mission is to work through community partners to connect consumers to local producers and grow awareness about sustainable practices. Ginn Farms generates new streams of income for local farmers while encouraging children to consider Agriculture as a post-secondary degree or career choice. The grant will allow the collaborative to purchase plastic insulated totes for its delivery service, Gardens On the Move.

Healthy Chesapeake, Chesapeake, Virginia
Healthy Chesapeake is a local nonprofit committed to building a culture of wellness that supports, sustains and advocates for a healthier Chesapeake by that promoting healthy eating and active living. The group will utilize the grant to purchase and modify a trailer to provide safe transport for rescued foods and crops from community gardens and its proposed new 22-acre farm to food pantries and a centralized food distribution site in its largest food desert community.

Muslim Community Link, Worcester, Massachusetts
The Mission of Muslim Community Link is to foster positive interactions and advance community integration by providing quality educational, wellness and referral services for all members, inclusive of the most marginalized within the Muslim Community. The nonprofit will use the grant to equip the Black Seed Farmers Market Trailer with solar-powered refrigerated coolers enabling them to bring locally produced eggs, dairy and other more heat-sensitive produce to SNAP / Healthy Incentive Program (HIP) recipients.

Northampton Survival Center, Northampton, Massachusetts
The Northampton Survival Center is dedicated to improving the quality of life for low-income individuals and families throughout Hampshire County by providing nutritious food and other resources in an atmosphere of dignity and respect. The organization will use the grant toward the purchase of a refrigerated van that will aid in the collecting of produce and other groceries from a growing variety of food vendors in the region. This will ensure that volunteers can maintain safe temperatures for the food during transport.

Pathfinder Village, Edmeston, New York
Pathfinder Village is a community in Otsego County, New York, dedicated to promoting a healthy, progressive environment that respects the individual, supporting a life of value and independence for people with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities. The grant will be used to purchase a refrigerated van for weekly distributions by its Pathfinder Produce market, which is staffed by adults with developmental disabilities. It will offer year-round access to produce in rural food deserts in Otsego and neighboring counties.

Project Momentum, Inc., Rocky Mount, North Carolina
Project Momentum of Rocky Mount will use the grant to support its efforts to provide locally grown food to low-income residents. The group will purchase a vehicle with the grant that will provide mobility to its fully equipped, refrigerated Health and Fitness Produce Mobile Market.

The Wild Ramp, Huntington, West Virginia
The Wild Ramp is a nonprofit organization that aims to supply a consistent, abundant supply of local food and to educate the community to recognize the impact of food buying decisions on the local economy and environment. It operates a year-round, community-supported market that provides viable economic outlet for local food producers while offering consumers access to locally-grown agricultural products. The Wild Ride will use the grant to expand the Rolling Ramp mobile farmer’s market program with the addition of a walk-in cooler and supplies, including transportation crates, marketing materials, jump seat and awning.

WROTE Inc., Bowling Green, Kentucky
WROTE, Inc. is a non-profit of the Housing Authority of Bowling Green (HABG). The grant will be used to refurbish a donated school bus into a mobile market. The Mobile Grocery bus will provide individuals and families with access to affordable groceries, including fresh produce, helping to alleviate one of the main barriers that low income people face.

About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we make conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states since 1985 to protect more than eight million acres of land.

Ann Simonelli | The Conservation Fund | 703-908-5809 | asimonelli@conservationfund.org
CSX | 1-855-955-NEWS (6397) | MediaTeam@csx.com