ARLINGTON, Va., July 28, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Applications are now being accepted for the 2016 Grant Program for Transporting Healthy Food, presented in partnership by CSX and The Conservation Fund.
The Grant Program for Transporting Healthy Food is designed to support and strengthen local transportation and distribution of healthy food to communities in need. The grants enable producers and retailers to acquire equipment and resources needed to sustain food quality and safety as they sell, store, package and distribute fresh produce and other foods. As a result, the program enhances delivery capabilities and improves the availability of healthy food for nearby consumers.
Past recipient organizations have used the grants to purchase refrigeration and delivery trucks and acquire portable food chests. Since the program began in 2014, grant recipients have served an additional 150,000 families with more than nine million pounds of food.
In 2016, grants ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 will be made available to charitable entities that distribute fresh produce and perishable food in the 22 states where CSX operates—Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
The grants can support a range of activities related to transportation and food distribution, including:
- acquiring refrigerated vehicles for direct delivery to markets, food hubs or distribution centers;
- financing mobile market trucks and food stands to bring fresh food to isolated communities;
- improving on-site and mobile processing and storage—freezing, drying or refrigeration—of meats and seafood needed for distribution; and
- purchasing produce boxes and cold storage bins to keep unsold food fresh for the next day’s farmers market or wholesale purchase.
“Transportation plays a critical role in the food supply chain by connecting communities and organizations to move the goods they need,” said Tori Kaplan, assistant vice president, corporate social responsibility, CSX. “We’re excited to continue our partnership with The Conservation Fund to improve the accessibility of healthy foods and support connections between farmers and consumers in the many communities that CSX serves.”
CSX has long been a supporter of The Conservation Fund’s work, including a focused program to improve and sustain both access to and supply of healthy, fresh food at local farmers markets and schools in underserved counties in West Virginia.
“Local and regional food organizations are often the only source of healthy food in underserved communities, and they are doing tremendous work with limited resources to make fresh food a convenient, practical and affordable option for everyone,” said Katie Allen, director of the Conservation Leadership Network at The Conservation Fund. “With CSX’s partnership, we’re not only helping these groups expand their food network, but we’re also supporting our local farmers and working farms—improving the entire food chain from the field to the fork.”
Grant applications are due by September 15, 2016. To download a grant application and see more information about the program, please visit http://www.conservationfund.org/projects/transporting-healthy-food-grant-program or contact Margarita Carey at email@example.com.
CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier transportation company. It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural, and consumer products. For nearly 190 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation’s economic expansion and industrial development. Its network connects every major metropolitan area in the eastern United States, where nearly two-thirds of the nation’s population resides. It also links more than 240 short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports with major population centers and farming towns alike. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at www.csx.com. Like us on Facebook (http://facebook.com/OfficialCSX) and follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/CSX).
About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we make conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states since 1985 to protect more than 7.5 million acres of land. www.conservationfund.org