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FOOD SECURITY PLANNING GRANT PROGRAM


Applications are currently being developed and will be available in the coming months.

The Food Security Planning Grant Program will competitively award grants ranging between $75,000 to $125,000 to municipal governments, county governments, and/or redevelopment agencies to improve food access and food security by leveraging distressed assets in New Jersey’s Food Desert Communities

PROGRAM DETAILS

To advance the goals of the Food Desert Relief Act (FDRA), part of the Economic Recovery Act of 2020, the EDA will use up to $1,500,000 in economic planning services funds to create a competitive planning grant program focused on leveraging distressed assets in designated Food Desert Communities (FDCs) in New Jersey to improve food access and food security.

For the Food Security Planning Grant program, a distressed asset is defined as a commercial building or series of buildings, its attachments, and appurtenances; or vacant land that is fully or partially vacant for at least one year, that due to deteriorated condition or appearance of its exterior (because of deferred maintenance such as deteriorated paint or overgrown vegetation, boarded up door and/or windows), that can be leveraged to improve food access and food security. 

The Food Security Planning Grant Program is the Authority’s first pilot program as part of the Food Desert Relief Act, providing grants between $75,000 to $125,000 to fund development of plans to improve food access specifically within the newly designated FDCs. NJEDA can leverage the findings and outcomes from such local plans as a tool for developing and deploying future comprehensive food security initiatives and economic development across the state while equipping municipalities with the tools to think about how to repurpose distressed assets.

ELIGIBILTY

Qualified applicants include the following entities whose geographic catchment areas include an FDC:

  • New Jersey municipal government,
  • County governments, and
  • Redevelopment agencies

Applicant may serve or have offices in a broader geographic area, proposals must be for a distressed asset located within the borders of an FDC.

The proposed plan must be for an asset which meets the above-mentioned definition of a distressed asset, and the proposed plan must leverage a distressed asset within one of the 50 FDCs.

Applicants must provide a letter of support from the Office of the Mayor or Chief Executive of the municipality where the asset is located and at least one stakeholder located within the boundaries of the FDC.

For a property owned by a New Jersey County, the applicant must provide a letter of support from the property owner or their designee for the proposed project; this must be signed by the Chief Executive of the government entity, independent agency or authority or their designee.

For a property owned by a private individual or by a non-governmental for-profit or non-profit entity; the applicant is required to provide a letter of support signed by the owner, co-owner, corporate officer, or their designee.

Eligible entities must have a valid tax clearance certificate from the New Jersey Division of Taxation

A municipality, a county, or redevelopment agency may submit multiple applications in a lead role and can be included as a partner in additional applications where they play a non-lead role. A municipality, county, and redevelopment agency whose geographic catchment areas include an FDC can each submit a proposal but are encouraged to coordinate their applications.

**Proposals for directly owned New Jersey state land will not be considered.

AWARD SIZE

Grant amounts will range from $75,000 and $125,000 and will be determined based on the FDC’s composite factor score where the distressed asset is located:

  • Applicants with a distressed asset in an FDC with a Composite Food Desert Factor Score between 86.5 – 63.9 will be eligible to receive an award of $125,000.
  • Applicants with a distressed asset in an FDC with a Composite Food Desert Factor Score between 61.2 – 51.5 will be eligible to receive an award of $100,000.
  • Applicants with a distressed asset in an FDC with a Composite Food Desert Score between 51.2 -24.1 will be eligible to receive an award of $75,000.

FEES

Application Fee: $1,000
The NJEDA will waive the grant application fee upon demonstration by the applicant that the imposition of the fee would impose an undue financial hardship. Learn More

** All fees are non-refundable

TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE

Division of Taxation Tax Clearance Certificate required. Certificates may be requested through the State of New Jersey’s Premier Business Services (PBS) portal online.

Under the Tax & Revenue Center, select Tax Services, then select Business Incentive Tax Clearance. If the applicant’s account is in compliance with its tax obligations and no liabilities exist, the Business Incentive Tax Clearance can be printed directly through PBS.

Directions on Securing your Tax Clearance Certificate