Press Releases



CT DoAg Invests $114,995 to Address Food Insecurity and Food Access

Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) Invests $114,995 in Food System Capacity Building Projects to Address Food Insecurity and Food Access

HARTFORD, CT – Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt announces that the CT Food Policy Council, administered by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg), has awarded funds to six projects through the Food System Capacity Building Grant totaling $114,995. The awarded projects will focus on utilizing CT Grown farm products in the creation of innovative, localized programming to increase food access and address food insecurity in communities. 


“The Food Systems Capacity Building Grant awardees are addressing local food system issues with community-driven solutions to create a more just food system,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “The interest in these funding opportunities is tremendous and we commend each of the applicants for their efforts to improve local food systems. This was a highly competitive round and each of these awarded projects is an investment in our future for both agriculture and our local communities to ensure that everyone has access to healthy, local foods.” 


Eligible entities included local food policy councils and/or food working groups, agricultural producers, food pantries, and farmers’ markets. Applicants could request up to $20,000 with no match required to complete their project within the 18-month grant period. The program received 55 applications totaling $1,014,931 in requested grant funds. 


The Aasaaska Foundation in Hartford recently acquired a new property in Hartford through the Hartford Land Bank on which they are constructing a high tunnel utilizing funding from U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. The review panel selected their application for funding which included building raised beds on the new property and adding additional features to the high tunnel such as automated roll up sides and ventilation. This will enable them to educate and train young adults on how to grow produce which will in turn be provided to local senior centers. 


The fiscal year 2024 Food System Capacity Building Grant awardees include: 


·        CLICK, Inc., Willimantic: Bring Windham Community Food Network under CLICK and consolidate where services are offered. $19,302

·        The Aasaaska Foundation, Hartford: To construct and add to high tunnel and build raised beds on new property in Hartford. $17,803   

·        St. Vincent Depaul, Middletown, Inc., Middletown: Purchase of freezer to increase amount of culturally relevant food available, including Halal products and mobile shelving units for school pantries to increase distribution to middle and high school students. $17,350

·        The Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, Inc., New Haven: To be allocated towards equipment needs for total kitchen re-build serving un-housed individuals. $20,000

·        Real Food CT, Inc., Newtown: Funding for a refrigerated cooler truck to be used in their new food hub. $20,000

·        Nourish Bridgeport, Inc., Bridgeport: Purchase of a fork farm for indoor hydroponic growing of produce to serve the community. $20,000


The Connecticut Food Policy Council was established in 1997 to create a more resilient Connecticut food system linking economic development, environmental protection, and preservation with farming and urban issues. Created under Public Act 97-11, Section 21, it is the only statewide food policy council in Connecticut. Funding for the Food System Capacity Building Grant is provided through the Connecticut Food Policy Council under C.G.S. Sec. 22-456. 


To learn more about the CT Food Policy Council, visit


The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) mission is to foster a healthy economic, environmental, and social climate for agriculture by developing, promoting, and regulating agricultural businesses; protecting agricultural and aquacultural resources; enforcing laws pertaining to domestic animals; and promoting an understanding among the state's citizens of the diversity of Connecticut agriculture, its cultural heritage, and its contribution to the state's economy. For more information, visit


Rebecca Eddy,