Many communities in Nash and Edgecombe Counties, also known as the Twin Counties, suffer from food insecurity, with limited or no access to fresh produce, dairy, meats and seafood. The Twin Counties area will soon be home to the intermodal rail terminal known as the Carolina Connector or CCX. Though this project is expected to bring economic benefits to surrounding communities, CSX and The Conservation Fund recognize that communities and families often struggle with food insecurity due to poverty and lack of access to healthy, fresh food choices. 

The 2018 On Track with Healthy Foods Grant program provides small grants ranging from $1,000 to $40,000 to support community- or faith-based projects that increase access to healthy foods in distressed communities in the Twin Counties, near the future CCX.

The grants will support increased production, processing, distribution and availability of healthy, fresh foods in the Twin Counties, with an emphasis on organizations that work collaboratively to address food security issues.

Program grants will be distributed in two categories:

Track One Grants will range from $1,000 to $10,000 and may support a range of activities and equipment related to increasing access to healthy foods for underserved communities, such as:

  • Transportation such as refrigerated vehicles for direct delivery to markets or “veggie vans” to bring fresh food to isolated communities
  • Food hubs or other facilities where produce, dairy, seafood, and meats can be stored safely for distribution
  • Produce boxes or cold storage bins to keep unsold food fresh for the next day’s market or wholesale purchase
  • Community-based production and distribution of healthy produce, dairy, seafood and meats

Track Two Grants will range up to $40,000 and will support community-led efforts involving three or more groups working collaboratively to strengthen and advance food value chain connections and/or increase access to healthy foods for underserved communities.  Examples of collaborative projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Purchase and deployment of equipment for food-based social enterprises, such as community-based mobile food trucks or businesses
  • Acquisition of land or structures for community-based healthy foods production, aggregation, processing and distribution
  • Purchase and installation of shared-use equipment to support production, aggregation, processing and distribution of healthy foods
  • Program expenses (salaries, consultants, supplies, equipment) for community-based healthy food production, processing or distribution 

Apply Now

Download the 2018 grant information and application (Word)

Download On Track Budget Template

Download the 2018 On Track with Healthy Food Grant Program "Triple Bottom Line" Guide

Applicant Eligibility 

To qualify for these grants, eligible applicants must be:

  • Located in Nash or Edgecombe County, North Carolina

  •  A Community- or faith-based local foods producer, processor, distributor or seller 

  • A governmental agency – local, state, or federal government OR a church OR a non-profit organization that is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code


If you have any question regarding grant eligibility, please contact Kathleen Marks at 919-951-0111 or smallgrants@conservationfund.org.