Three Valley food providers awarded grants to continue food accessibility projects
Three Valley food providers were awarded Virginia Food Access Investment Fund grants to continue increasing food access in underserved communities.
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Three Valley food providers were awarded Virginia Food Access Investment Fund grants to continue increasing food access in underserved communities.
Doña Fer Grocery Store was one of the three locations. The store has been serving the Harrisonburg community for 30 years.
Owner Fernanda Carbajal said they will be using the $22,000 grant to add more coolers to their store.
“We are going to use it for getting a new cooler for meat and we are going to repair one of the other coolers that are not working,” Carbajal said.
Carbajal said the grocery store had requests for more meat and milk options and wanted to provide those options to the community.
Similar to Doña Fer, Jon Henry General Store in Shenandoah County will be creating a new space to housed refrigerated items.
“At the start of COVID, we became a fresh match grocery store. We’re one of four in the Commonwealth, so those on food stamps, EBT, or PEBT or SNAP, get 50 percent off all their fresh produce purchases and we saw a huge increase and demand during COVID and it’s continued,” Henry said.
Henry said the increase in demand during the pandemic has caused pressure on other inventory like milk, meat, and plant-based products, so they will be using their $25,000 grant to create a space to house those items.
The third organization is Project GROWS in Augusta County.
The group plans to put their almost $50,000 grant toward a new van to distribute produce throughout the community.
“We’re hoping with this mobile vehicle we’ll have our produce on the van and distribute it in the community that way which would be a lot more efficient,” said Marshall. “We’re really hoping to be advocates for food access for all.”
The plan is to get the van on the road by next summer.
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