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FOOD RETAIL INNOVATION IN DELIVERY GRANT (FRIDG)


The Food Retail Innovation in Delivery Grant (FRIDG) will provide grant funding to New Jersey food retailers to purchase self-contained, temperature-controlled lockers. These lockers may be used for food storage and delivery within Authority designated Food Desert Communities (FDCs), and with the purpose of expanding food delivery opportunities and improving food access for FDC residents.

PROGRAM DETAILS

The Food Retail Innovation in Delivery Grant (FRIDG) will make $2.5 million available for grants to improve food access in New Jersey Food Desert Communities (FDCs) by providing grants to food retailers to purchase self-contained, temperature-controlled lockers and install them in FDCs., which will facilitate food delivery and improve access to high quality groceries, including fresh produce, for FDC residents. Grants will cover between 30% and 50% of the total project cost (inclusive of locker purchase, delivery, and installation) up to $250,000.

Through the utilization of refrigerated lockers, the FRIDG program will help to increase the availability of nutritious food in FDCs while assisting food retailers to adapt to new business models that can help sustain their businesses. Through FRIDG, supermarket retailers can subsidize the purchase of refrigerated locker units and will begin delivering to these units, which must be placed within an FDC, and may be placed near local organizations, such as food banks and community centers that are convenient for residents of the community and a place where residents facing food insecurity may already access services. This model will also give FDC residents the ability to order online and have groceries delivered to a convenient central location without having to travel long distances to reach food retailers, as many FDC residents without a nearby grocer are currently forced to do.

ELIGIBILITY

Eligibility for the Food Retail Innovation in Delivery Grant (FRIDG) will be limited to food retailers which, at the time of application, are authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS) to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for online ordering.

Applicants must be:

  • Independent (single location with a single owner);
  • Independent supermarket operators (single location working with a third-party supplier or franchisor);
  • Cooperative retailers (member of a cooperative with similar supermarket owners);
  • Chain supermarkets (ten or more supermarkets owned by a single corporate entity);
  • Mass merchandisers (large retailers which operate full-service supermarkets within its retail locations such as Walmart); or
  • Warehouse clubs (large retailers where customers can buy large quantities wholesale, such as BJ’s)

All applicants, regardless of supermarket type, must have a physical retail location in New Jersey and can service and make deliveries to a locker located in an FDC. This program is not open to online food retailerswith no physical retail location in New Jersey.

In addition, applicants must comply with the following requirements:

  • Be in good standing with the following New Jersey Departments:
    • Division of Taxation, as evidenced by a Tax Clearance Certificate
    • Department of Environmental Protection
    • Department of Labor and Workforce Development
  • Commit to place any locker purchased through FRIDG in an NJEDA-designated FDC in an area that is accessible to the general public in an FDC (i.e., not in a restricted area such as an apartment building lobby open only to apartment residents) for a minimum of 12 hours per day, seven days per week

FUNDING USE

Applicants are limited to purchase, delivery, and installation of self-contained, temperature-controlled lockers to help expand food delivery opportunities and improve food access within Authority-designated Food Desert Communities (FDCs). Lockers must be placed within an FDC. FRIDG is intended to cover prospective costs for purchases not yet made. Projects where a contract has been signed, a purchase order placed, or a deposit made prior to application to the Authority will not be eligible for funding.

Contracts of $2,000 or more that include installation are subject to Authority prevailing wage and affirmative action requirements and reporting. Grants are limited to expenses related to the initial equipment purchase and locker installation; the applicant is responsible for ongoing operation and maintenance costs related to the locker.

AWARD SIZE

Grant awards will start at 30% of total project costs (inclusive of locker purchase, delivery, and installation), with the ability to stack on bonuses to cover more of the costs for applicants that meet the following criteria, however where no grant can exceed 50% of the total project costs or $250,000, whichever is the lesser of the two.

Stackable 5% Bonuses

  • Locker located within a Food Desert Community (FDC) ranked within the top ten (10) sitewide
  • Applicant provides a Memorandum of Understanding, Letter of Support, Letter of Intent, or partnership contract or agreement with a social service community-based organization (e.g., food pantry, soup kitchen, community center, library) to locate locker on-site with the organization in a manner that is accessible to the public in a location where community members may already access services
  • Commit to waive delivery fees for SNAP online purchases for deliveries made to the locker purchased through FRIDG

Stackable 10% Bonus

  • Commits to waive delivery fees for all deliveries made to locker, regardless of payment type

FUNDING DISBURSEMENTS

The Authority will make one single award disbursement when proof of equipment delivery and installation is provided, along with any necessary permits or agreements for siting the locker in its designated location within the FDC.

FEES

Application Fee: $1,000 (non-refundable) per application

PROGRAM GUIDE

QUESTIONS

For more information or to ask a specific question, please send an email to fooddesertrelief@njeda.com and a team member will reach out to you.