Cover photo for Massachusetts Food Ventures Program

Massachusetts Food Ventures Program (MFVP)

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources

Closed June 12, 2020


The overall goal of the Massachusetts Food Ventures Program (MFVP) is to increase access to healthy, affordable food options and improve economic opportunities for low to moderate income communities. The MFVP will provide funding through grants to support food ventures, sited primarily in or near communities of low or moderate income, including Gateway Cities and rural communities. The MFVP will help implement goals of the Massachusetts Local Food Action Plan and contribute to the financing needs of local Massachusetts food enterprises. With expanded investment, completed projects will improve access to Massachusetts grown, harvested or caught food products through the development of collaborations with local agricultural enterprises and private/public entities. Key areas for investment include: food processing infrastructure to meet the needs of the expanding local food system; improved distribution systems to support opportunities for equitable access to fresh local food; and retail outlet strategies that enhance access to healthy food.

The following are examples of potential, eligible Food Ventures projects

  • Food Processing Infrastructure - Creation of commercial food processing infrastructure to ensure availability of Massachusetts produced foods and which can benefit low and moderate income households.

  • Non Retail: Food Commissaries - Innovative proposals by commercial food commissaries that connect local farms and partners, create new local food retail markets or improve marketing within low income communities. Proposals may include requests for support for infrastructure, distribution, processing and marketing plans that demonstrate increased access to low to moderate income communities.

  • Food Co-Ops - Proposals for construction, renovation or build-out of existing facilities that will create new permanent jobs and/or greater access to affordable, fresh food.

  • Greenhouses and Farmers’ markets - Develop and build facilities designed to increase year round access of diverse food production and distribution to existing or new markets to benefit low to moderate income communities.

  • Food Hubs - Capital for infrastructure to build or renovate sites for new or existing ventures that improve commercial food access in low to moderate income communities.

  • Commercial Markets - Innovative projects that connect local food producers and partners in order to develop, build or renovate a large scale retail market, designed to improve commercial distribution of healthy, locally produced food. Proposals may include initiatives for new construction or the renovation of an existing building. Must clearly document a community demand and outline a marketing strategy for expansion of commercial food access and distribution in low to moderate income areas.

  • Mobile Markets/Innovative Markets - To purchase, design, and upgrade vehicles to provide healthy Massachusetts food including meats, seafood, vegetables, and fresh or frozen produce for purchase. Must provide marketing strategy that demonstrates the expansion of commercial access and distribution in low to moderate income communities.


Who May Apply?

  • Massachusetts Municipalities

  • Massachusetts Non-Profit or For-Profit Organizations

  • Individual Residents of Massachusetts

Examples of ineligible project areas:

  • Funding for audits, feasibility studies or design work.

  • Operation or maintenance costs associated with the proposed grant investment.

  • Staff or consultant time on proposals for projects that have already been completed or for which the applicant seeks reimbursement.


  • Request for Response (RFR). This document outlines and explains all details, requirements, and instructions for the Food Ventures program.

Similar Programs



June 12, 2020


Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR)

Financial Instrument


Updated January 5, 2021

This information was gathered from public sources. Ambrook is not responsible for or able to affect the results of any financial programs listed, nor are they responsible for any incorrect information that is listed or is on the hyperlinked external sites. All information is subject to change.