The Food Retail Innovation in Delivery Grant (FRIDG) will make $2.5 million available for grants to improve food access in New Jersey Food Desert Communities (FDCs) by providing grants to food retailers to purchase self-contained, temperature-controlled lockers and install them in FDCs., which will facilitate food delivery and improve access to high quality groceries, including fresh produce, for FDC residents. Grants will cover between 30% and 50% of the total project cost (inclusive of locker purchase, delivery, and installation) up to $250,000.
Through the utilization of refrigerated lockers, the FRIDG program will help to increase the availability of nutritious food in FDCs while assisting food retailers to adapt to new business models that can help sustain their businesses. Through FRIDG, supermarket retailers can subsidize the purchase of refrigerated locker units and will begin delivering to these units, which must be placed within an FDC, and may be placed near local organizations, such as food banks and community centers that are convenient for residents of the community and a place where residents facing food insecurity may already access services. This model will also give FDC residents the ability to order online and have groceries delivered to a convenient central location without having to travel long distances to reach food retailers, as many FDC residents without a nearby grocer are currently forced to do.