NEHA-FDA RFFM Grant Program Awards $7 Million in First Year to Promote Food Safety

Denver, CO – Last month, more than $7 million was awarded to 228 unique state, local, territorial, and tribal (SLTT) jurisdictions nationwide to strengthen their regulatory retail food programs and practices. The funding, provided through the National Environmental Health Association-U.S. Federal Drug Administration (NEHA-FDA) Retail Flexible Funding Model Grant Program is part of a three-year grant that provides funding to U.S. jurisdictions in charge of regulating retail food to prevent foodborne illness.

“NEHA is honored to lead this transformative opportunity to improve food safety practices across the country by leveraging and promoting the Retail Program Standards. Together, we can reduce foodborne illness,” said Roy Kroeger, REHS, President of NEHA.

The grant program is the first of its kind and is designed to support SLTT regulatory retail food jurisdictions to align with the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards (VNRFRPS or RPS). Ensuring a food safety program’s practices are aligned with the VNRFRPS is one of the most important steps a jurisdiction can take to advance retail food safety efforts across the US.

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The new RFFM model combines three previous grant programs into one in order to make the approaches for grantees more flexible and responsive to a jurisdiction’s capacity and ambitions. In the first year of the grant, the program awarded 444 total grants to 228 unique jurisdictions, including:

  • 228 base grants (Development and Maintenance & Advancement)
  • 54 Mentorship grants
  • 129 Training/Staff Development grants
  • 9 Special Projects grants
  • 26 Capacity Building grants

The program also features mentorship, spearheaded by the National Association for City and County Officials (NACCHO), which provides jurisdictions the opportunity to learn from, collaborate, and support one another as they work to achieve the Standards.

“The program continues to invest in the health and safety of communities through public health interventions while facilitating collaboration among SLTTs,” said David Dyjack, DrPH, CIH, Executive Director of NEHA. “The impressive level of participation in year one shows how important retail food safety is, even amid a global pandemic.”

More information about the NEHA-FDA RFFM Grant Program, including a summary of grant awards for year 1, are available at www.neha.org/retailgrants.

The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) represents more than 6,600 governmental, private, academic, and uniformed services sector environmental health professionals in the U.S., its territories, and internationally. NEHA is the profession’s strongest advocate for excellence in the practice of environmental health as it delivers on its mission to build, sustain, and empower an effective environmental health