September 23, 2019

The Conservation Fund Accepting Transporting Healthy Food Grant Applications

ARLINGTON, Va. — Distributors and producers of fresh, local foods in 22 states and Washington, D.C., are invited to apply to the 2019 Grant Program for Transporting Healthy Food, presented in partnership by CSX and The Conservation Fund. The grants will range from $2,500 to $7,500 and will go towards charitable organizations working to increase access to fresh vegetables, meat, fish and dairy in vulnerable and underserved communities. 

Since the Grant Program for Transporting Healthy Food began in 2014, over $600,000 has been awarded through 65 grants, enabling recipients to serve an additional 700,000 families with more than 42 million pounds of food. The grant program is designed to support and strengthen local transportation and distribution of healthy food to communities in need. The grants are used by charitable producers and retailers in a number of ways, including:

  • Acquiring refrigerated vehicles for direct delivery to markets, food hubs or distribution centers;
  • Financing mobile market trucks and food stands to bring fresh food to isolated communities;
  • Improving on-site and mobile processing and storage—freezing, drying or refrigeration—of vegetables, meats and seafood needed for distribution; and
  • Purchasing produce boxes and cold storage bins to keep unsold food fresh for the next day’s farmers market or wholesale purchase.

“In countless communities, grocery stores and farmers markets are not convenient or non-existent, so it’s difficult for many to buy healthy food options. Local groups working to bring fresh meat, dairy and produce to neighborhoods, towns and cities are so critical to improving access and building healthier communities,” said Katie Allen, director of the Conservation Leadership Network at The Conservation Fund. “The Grant Program for Transporting Healthy Food helps these organizations expand and enhance the important work they’re doing, while also supporting local farmers. It’s a win for food producers, food distributors and communities.”

In 2018, one of the grantees, Grow Ohio Valley in Wheeling, West Virginia, used the grant to help purchase a two-temperature, 20-foot refrigeration units. Grow Ohio Valley is working to fashion a new economic landscape, one offering increased prosperity, improved health and a better environment.

“This grant provides for vital infrastructure, which will help Wheeling's budding food economy blossom,” said Ken Peralta, executive director of Grow Ohio Valley. “While the purchase of a commercial refrigeration unit may not sound entirely thrilling, it will provide the backbone for our Public Market project, as well as support a new point of access for fresh, nutritious food in what is currently a known USDA food desert. Simply, we consider this a huge step forward in connecting residents with the right kind of food. It's a game changer, really.”

The grants are given to charitable organizations in Washington, D.C., and the 22 states where CSX operates—Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Grant applications are due by Friday, November 27, 2019. To download a grant application and learn more information about the program, please visit or contact Margarita Carey at

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 |