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​​​​​Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program 

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) is currently accepting applications for grant projects under the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure program (RFSI). Funds for the program were awarded to PDA by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). 

The RFSI program will transform the food system to benefit consumers, producers, and rural communities by providing more options, increasing access, and creating new, more, and better markets for small and mid-size producers. To be more resilient, the food system of the future needs to be more diversified, distributed, and local.

Funding Priorities

The USDA encourages projects that benefit underserved farmers and ranchers, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, veteran producers, and processors and other middle of the supply chain businesses owned by socially disadvantaged individuals, as defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture will prioritize funding projects that pertain to the following gaps identified in the middle of the food supply chain in Pennsylvania.

Aggregation Points – Aggregation points, include food hubs or farmer cooperatives to help individual producers fulfill bigger orders while saving costs on storage, packaging, and distribution. 

Food Processing Infrastructure - As Pennsylvanian food processors look to expand their production capacities by adding product types, increasing production volumes, or increasing packaging and labeling capacities for retail product lines, they need to upgrade equipment and often need to move to a licensed space outside of their homes. Food processing infrastructure also includes large-scale commercial equipment. 

Storage – In Pennsylvania, more storage is needed to hold produce to be washed and distributed. Limited cold storage is available in urban areas. More storage is also needed to segregate and supply identity preserved grains, whole grains, and dry bean for human consumption to processing plants in Pennsylvania. 

Grants Available

Simplified Equipment-Only Grants: Simplified Equipment-Only Grants will range in value from a minimum award of $10,000 and a maximum award of $100,000 and do not require cost sharing or matching. The Simplified Equipment-Only Grant is a fixed price grant, meaning it will fund only equipment purchases (and not associated facility upgrades, staffing, or other costs), and the amount awarded will be equal to the cost of the equipment up to $100,000. Funds will be awarded no earlier than July 1, 2024, and projects must be completed by June 30, 2026. 

Equipment Cost Documentation: Simplified Equipment-Only Grant applicants must submit documentation to substantiate the cost of each piece of equipment listed on their application. Documentation can include contracts, catalog pricing, or binding quotes provided by licensed commercial entities. The cost of delivery and installation can be covered by the grant if they are listed in the official bid. When soliciting bids, please make sure they will be honored at the time of the grant award which will be no earlier than July 1, 2024.

Award Payment

Both the Infrastructure Grants and Simplified Equipment-Only Grants are reimbursement grants. This means that grant recipients will submit an invoice to PDA no more than once a month but no less than once a quarter for reimbursement of project expenses. Payments will not be issued in advance.

Invoices can only include expenses already paid for by the grant recipient. Grant recipients will be required to submit receipts for single purchases over $1,000 with each invoice as proof of payment. Receipts are not required for personnel related expenses.


Prevailing Wage Projects

The Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act, 43 P.S. §§ 165-1 et seq., may apply to certain construction projects funded under this grant program if the project's total estimated cost is $25,000 or greater. Grant recipients are responsible for registering prevailing wage projects with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (DLI), Bureau of Labor Law Compliance and certifying that contractors paid the applicable prevailing wage rates. The Department will not process a grant agreement or disperse any funds until the grant recipient provides a copy of this certification. More information on prevailing wage can be found on DLI's website here​.

How to Apply 

Full Grant Guideline

Equipment Only No​tice

Electronic applications only: Interested applicants must submit a complete electronic project proposal and grant application using the Department's Electronic Single Application web site at Single Application for Assistance (

Application Resources: