July 30, 2018

Application Period for Transporting Healthy Food Grants Now Open

ARLINGTON, Va. — Distributors and producers of fresh, local foods are invited to apply to the 2018 Grant Program for Transporting Healthy Food, presented in partnership by CSX and The Conservation Fund. The grants will range from $2,500 to $10,000 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, more than $500,000 has been awarded through 54 grants, enabling recipients to serve an additional 300,000 families with more than 40 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 2017, one of the grantees, ACCESS WV, used the grant funds to purchase a cold storage trailer for transporting locally-grown foods to food deserts across the state. ACCESS WV works to improve community health in West Virginia by promoting physical activity, local food access and cultural preservation.

"Harsh economic times have fallen upon Southern West Virginia,” said Lacy Davidson, Co-Founder of ACCESS WV. “For the first time in decades, many people are turning to agriculture for a means to make a living. CSX and The Conservation Fund have provided tremendous support by giving ACCESS WV the ability to deliver sustainably grown food from local farms to markets."

The grants are given to charitable organizations in 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.

CSX has long been a supporter of The Conservation Fund’s work in creating environmental solutions that benefit communities. Most recently, two focused grant programs in underserved counties in West Virginia and North Carolina were created to enhance delivery capabilities of food producers, processors and distributors as well as improve and sustain both access to and supply of healthy, fresh food at local farmers markets and schools.

“Everyone deserves access to fresh, healthy food, but a lack of nearby grocery stores and farmers markets makes it difficult for many to buy fresh meat, dairy and produce. That’s why local groups working to bring healthy foods to these communities are so critical,” 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.”

Grant applications are due by Friday, September 28, 2018. To download a grant application and learn more information about the program, please visit http://www.conservationfund.org/projects/transporting-healthy-food-grant-program or contact Margarita Carey at mcarey@conservationfund.org.

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