Sierra Healthy Refrigeration Program Launched in 16 Sierra Counties

Katey Ford

Katey Ford

Climate & Energy Planning Technician
Green Business Program Manager

Sierra Business Council (SBC) and the High Sierra Energy Foundation (HSEF) are working together on the Sierra Healthy Refrigeration Program (SHRP), which will provide technical assistance for refrigeration rebate applications and access to free refrigeration units to bring healthy food options to low-access areas. SBC and the HSEF have been allies for nearly a decade on the Rural and Hard-to-Reach working group, sharing best practices and promoting the needs of rural ratepayers to the California Public Utilities Commission.

SBC and the HSEF are coordinating efforts to implement this program in 16 counties: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Inyo, Lassen, Mariposa, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sierra, Sutter, Tuolumne, and Yuba. 

This grant program is funded by the California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Farm-to-Fork (CDFA-F2F). The CDFA program is broken into two stages – the first provided technical assistance and outreach grant awards to the HSEF and SBC to develop SHRP and the second will be direct funding to businesses for refrigeration equipment. Under this second program stage, free energy-efficient refrigeration units will be provided to low-income or low-access areas throughout the state. Refrigeration units are to be stocked with California-grown fresh produce, nuts, dairy, meat, eggs, and minimally processed, and culturally appropriate foods. 

Benefits of the SHRP include: 

  • Increasing access to healthy, fresh foods in low-income or low-access areas.
  • Accelerating adoption of energy-efficient refrigeration units by small businesses.
  • Supporting California’s climate initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated by older, less efficient refrigeration units.

The CDFA will open the refrigeration grant program for application submission during two phases: one in December 2022 and another in September 2023. SBC and the HSEF will assist interested applicants with the application process, as well as support with selection, procurement, and installation of the refrigeration units.

While technical assistance will be available starting October 2023, the timeline for the first round of refrigeration grant applications is as follows:

  • Grant application opens: December 20, 2022
  • Grant application closes: March 15, 2023
  • Anticipated awards announcement: Late May 2023

If you, or anyone in your network, is interested in the Sierra Healthy Refrigeration Program, please reach out to us at info@sierrafridgegrant.org! Or you can contact me, Katey Ford, directly at kford@sierrabusiness.org or 530.582.4800. For further eligibility requirements and program information, please visit our website.

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