Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI)

Deadline Extended

The deadline to submit applications for the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Grant Program (RFSI) has been extended to January 21, 2024, at 11:59 PM.

Bins of produce including yellow onions, purple potatoes, and bright green brussel sprouts

The purpose of the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI) program is to develop and administer state-coordinated initiatives to build resilience across the middle of the State’s food supply chain for food crops. Funds will support expanded capacity for the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, and distribution of locally and regionally produced food products, including specialty crops, dairy, grains for consumption, aquaculture, and other food products, excluding meat and poultry. DEM will work in partnership with USDA to make competitive sub-award investments in middle of the supply chain infrastructure (Infrastructure Grants) to domestic food and farm businesses and other eligible entities.

More information

Visit the RFSI website for additional information and resources at: www.ams.usda.gov/rfsi.

For questions about Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI), please email DEM.RFSI@dem.ri.gov.

 

Learn More and Apply

For Technical Issues

For best results, the template documents from USDA listed below should be downloaded to your desktop/device. The files will not work if you attempt to open them in a browser window or via preview. Click here to upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Reader.

Entities eligible for Infrastructure Grants made by states will be:

  • Agricultural producers or processors, or groups of agricultural producers and processors
  • Nonprofit organizations operating middle-of-the-supply-chain activities such as processing, aggregation, distribution of targeted agricultural products
  • Local government entities operating middle-of-the-supply-chain activities such as processing, aggregation, distribution of targeted agricultural products.
  • Tribal governments operating middle-of-the-supply-chain activities such as processing, aggregation, distribution of targeted agricultural products.
  • Institutions such as schools, universities, or hospitals bringing producers together to establish cooperative or shared infrastructure or invest in equipment that will benefit multiple producers middle[1]of-the-supply-chain activities such as processing, aggregation, distribution of targeted agricultural product.

All applicant businesses and organizations must be domestically owned, and applicants’ facilities must be physically located within the borders of Rhode Island.

Equipment Grant

The maximum funding request for an equipment grant is $100,000. No match is required for equipment grants

Infrastructure Grant

There is no maximum funding request for an equipment grant. However, the State of Rhode Island will be administering a total of 1.5 Million in grants. Please keep that in mind when submitting your funding requests.

Infrastructure Grant Recipients are required to contribute 50% of the total proposed project cost as a match to federal funding. This applies to all applicants except those who qualify for the reduced match described below.  


For historically under-served farmers and ranchers, or for other businesses that qualify under SBA categories of Small disadvantaged business, women-owned small business, or veteran-owned small business, the required match funding Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Grant (RFSI) contribution or cost share is reduced to 25% of the project cost. States must require that applicants self-certify in their RFSI Infrastructure Grant Proposal Template applications that they are eligible for this reduced match. 

Graphic showing 50% match requirement for and 25% match requirement levels

RFSI will focus on funding Infrastructure Grant activities in each State that:

  • Expand capacity for processing, aggregation and distribution of agricultural products to create more and better markets for producers;
  • Modernize manufacturing, tracking, storage, and information technology systems;
  • Enhance worker safety through adoption of new technologies or investment in equipment or facility improvements;
  • Improve the capacity of entities to comply with federal, state, and local food safety requirements;
  • Improve operations through training opportunities;
  • Support construction of a new facility;
  • Modernize or expand an existing facility (including expansion and modifications to existing buildings and/ or construction of new buildings at existing facilities);
  • Construction of wastewater management structures, etc.;
  • Modernize processing and manufacturing equipment; and
  • Develop, customize, or install equipment that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, increases efficiency in water use, improves air and/or water quality, and/or meets one or more of USDA’s climate action goals.

Equipment only projects offer a simplified application to fund smaller grants between $20,000 and $100,000 for equipment purchases. These projects offer a simplified application to fund smaller grants between $20,000 and $100,000 for equipment purchases. The Simplified Equipment-Only option 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. No match is required for this grant type.

Using a USDA provided template, applicants are required to submit a project narrative that describes the overall scope of the project and how it aligns with the program goals and priorities. The narrative must include an estimated increase in production and who will benefit from the overall project. Applicants must attach documentation to substantiate the costs of each piece of equipment, which can include contracts, catalog pricing, or binding quotes provided by license commercial entities.

To request assistance, contact granthelp@rifoodcouncil.org

Resilient Food System Infrastructure Program Webinar Held on September 27, 2023