Healthy Food Small Retailer Program

— Written By Nancie Mandeville

NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announces a new program to bring local farm fresh produce to identified “food deserts” throughout the State.

See an excerpt from their website.

Applications being accepted for the 2017-2018 Healthy Food Small Retailer Program
Download Application

Information for Owners of Small Retail Stores

Not only will you be helping to make your food environment healthier, a strong produce program can attract new customers, increase sales, plus deliver strong margins.

Small retailers who are located in food deserts are encouraged to apply for funds that are being awarded to increase access to fresh foods in food deserts. For the store owner, one of the barriers to providing healthier options is the cost of the equipment needed to stock these items. The HFSRP is helping to overcome this obstacle by providing reimbursement for refrigeration, freezer and shelving equipment to stock nutrient-dense foods.

Retail stores must meet the following criteria to participate in the program:

  • Store location must be in a food desert
  • Maximum 3,000 heated square feet
  • Established for-profit business
  • Store has not previously received funds from the HFSRP
  • Accept SNAP and WIC benefits or agree to apply to become a SNAP/WIC vendor

Download the application and submit by January 31, 2018 for priority consideration. Applications will be accepted through March 2018 subject to funds availability.

FAX application: 919-733-0999
Mail application:
NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services,
Division of Marketing, Attn: Ron Fish
USPS: 1020 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1020
Street address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC 27601

The application is a two-step process. After your initial application is reviewed for basic criteria requirements, those retailers who qualify will be contacted with more details about program participation and next steps.

Resources for Healthy Food Sales

‘Better-For-You’ Sales

Am I ready to start selling fresh options?
Food labels including understanding claims

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

(Local WIC Agencies will begin accepting new vendor applications beginning June 1, 2018)

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP Application Instructions

Misc Resources

Your store may need to have electrical upgrades for new equipment.
Tips to hire a licensed electrician from NCDA&CS.

Why Convenience Stores?

North Carolina has 349 food deserts, which are identified as areas with low household income and limited food access. Convenient stores are often the main source of food in these areas. Eating behaviors are changing toward an increased demand for healthier options, even for convenience-store customers. By meeting demand for healthier food in these areas, this program can have a positive public health impact where it is needed most.

Hey Community Members!

You Can Nominate Your Neighborhood Store

Do you live in an area that has limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables?
Is there a convenience store in your community that you visit often?
Would you like your neighborhood convenience store to have healthy options on their shelves?

Nominate your neighborhood store. If they qualify we will invite them to apply for this program!

HFSRP Background