Application Timeline (Estimated):

  • April 11: applications published
  • April 14: informational webinar
  • April 25: applications due
  • May 5: awardees announced
  • May 12: agreements due
  • May 19: funds distributed to awardees
  • June 19: deadline for funds to be used by awardee
  • June 30: deadline for final use of funds report and impact narrative

Contact Info:

  • Erin Ortigoza (EDD)
  • Julie Cranston (VMC)

Phone: 505-819-8914 (Please leave a voicemail and someone will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.)

Mailing address:
P.O Box 20003
Santa Fe, NM 87504-5003

Healthy Food Financing Fund (HFFF)


The New Mexico Economic Development Department (EDD) announces fiscal year 2023 funding for a new grant-based pilot program: the Healthy Food Financing Fund (HFFF).

In FY 2023, HFFF will award $400,000 in competitive grants, between $20,000 and $100,000 each, to a range of food enterprises across all the state of New Mexico.

HFFF is an integral part of the governor’s Food Initiative designed to strengthen the local food system supply chain capacity and increase market opportunities for New Mexico farmers and agricultural producers, manufacturers and food enterprises.

Food Initiative Logo-01

This program and fund will directly support the capacity of small and mid-scale food and agricultural enterprises in our state’s food supply chain to grow, raise, process, aggregate, transport, and distribute local, culturally preferred foods to meet the current and increasing demand.

Between 4 and 20 awards will be made in amounts  ranging from $20,000 to $100,000. We will be accepting up to 50 applications for this pilot fund. Funds will be dispersed to awardees upon approval and do not require a match.

The submission cap has been reached and we will not be accepting any more applications for consideration in this pilot round of funding.

If you have begun a draft application in Submittable, your application draft will remain in your account until you delete your account. We recommend saving your application in your account and/or downloading a PDF for reference if you intend to apply to the next round of funding as some of the questions may be substantially similar.  

HFFF supports the intersection of economic development in New Mexico’s food/agricultural industry with increased food security for New Mexicans, and prioritizes projects demonstrating a focus on underserved communities.

The fund will:

  • Stimulate investments for food and agricultural operations owned by and/or serving individuals who are from historically marginalized communities including communities of color, Tribal communities, under-served areas with low- and moderate-income populations, rural communities, urban food deserts, and businesses owned by Veterans, women, and socially disadvantaged individuals.
  • Address financing obstacles and operating barriers for food aggregation/distribution operations, grocery stores and other healthy food retail in lower income communities.

HFFF funds were authorized under FY 2023 appropriations. Future funding may be available and may include additional or different program eligibility criteria and requirements.

Administered by the state fund manager, Vida Mejor Capital. 

Program rules developed in concert with the Equitable Food-Oriented Development Working (EFOD) Group. 

Members of the group include:

  • Helga Garza, Executive Director Agri-Cultura Cooperative Network, Chair of the New Mexico Food & Agriculture Policy Council
  • Bianca Encinias, Executive Director, South Valley MainStreet
  • Clair Campos
  • Donne Gonzales, Los Sembradores Farm Training Program Coordinator, New Mexico Acequia Association
  • Lorenzo Dominguez, El Patrón, co-owner Hacienda Domínguez & Chelenzo Farms Culture of Health Leadership Institute for Racial Equity Fellow

Application Information

FY 2023 funding for HFFF will proceed on an expeditious basis.

Applications are due two weeks after being published. Award decisions will be made on May 5, 2023. Funding is expected to be fully spent by grantees by June 19, 2023. 

All successful grantees are required to provide an IRS From W-9:

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Entities

  • Political subdivisions of the state
  • Indian nations, Tribes, and pueblos
  • For-profit business enterprises (including a corporation, limited liability company, sole proprietor, public benefit corporation, social enterprise)
  • Cooperatively-owned businesses
  • Tax-exempt nonprofit corporations
  • Small farmers with gross cash farm income under $250,000 (commercial and noncommercial farms)

Eligible Projects:

The FY 2023 New Mexico HFFF offers flexible, financial assistance for projects directed to underserved communities* in the form of competitive grants to eligible entities in the following four (4) eligible project areas:

  1. grocery store infrastructure upgrades proposed to improve the availability and quality of healthy food
  2. establishment/upgrades of farmers’ markets, farm stands, food cooperatives, community gardening projects and mobile food markets
  3. land-based food production and agricultural operations, controlled environment food production operations and value-added operations
  4. food aggregation, processing and distribution projects, including hub distribution projects proposed to benefit local food producers and to improve food retailer access to fresh produce and healthy food.

Eligible Use of Funds

Grants are designed to be one-time cash infusions into eligible projects. The following non-exhaustive list provides a guide:

  • Site acquisition and preparation;
  • Equipment, fleet, supplies and furnishings
  • Associated and relevant infrastructure
  • Working capital for first-time inventory and start-up costs
  • Business process/technology upgrades
  • Brand development and marketing.

*For the purposes of the HFFF, underserved communities also includes communities and populations served through the NM Grown program. These vulnerable populations include children, elders, and families that are served through institutions participating in NM Grown, such as schools, senior centers, early childcare facilities, and food banks.