The Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI)


An overview of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative. A viable, effective, and economically sustainable solution to the problem of limited access to healthy foods, and can reduce health disparities, improve the health of families and children, create jobs, and stimulate local economic development in low-income communities.

Profile: The ReFresh Project


In February 2014, as part of the renovation of a 60,000-square-foot supermarket vacant since Hurricane Katrina, a new Whole Foods in New Orleans celebrated its grand opening. The store, which offers more than 330 local products, was built with a strong emphasis on affordability and community partnership.

WEBINAR-Leveraging Institutional Purchasing Power


Institutions such as hospitals, schools, businesses, and government agencies play a number of important roles in a community: service provider, employer, educator, as well as community and cultural hub. These institutions also play an important role in advancing the health and well-being of communities and can do so by leveraging their purchasing power to expand healthy food access for residents, clients, employees, and students. Across the country, institutions are advancing innovative food procurement programs and policies that are aligning food purchasing to support access to healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food, strengthen local economies, grow quality jobs, and advance environmental sustainability. 
This webinar highlights examples, promising strategies, and lessons learned in engaging with health care, educational, and business institutions to shift purchasing practices toward improved healthy food access and more equitable food systems.
Featured Speakers: 
Ted Howard, Co-Founder and President, Democracy Collaborative
Lucia Sayre, Regional Director, Health Care Without Harm
Adam Kesselman, Project Director, Center for Ecoliteracy
Estefanía Narváez, West Coast Regional Coordinator, Real Food Challenge
Diana Rivera, Research Associate, PolicyLink (moderator)

WEBINAR-Grocery Store and Retailer Scorecard


The “Grocery Store and Retailer Scorecard” is modeled on a successful and similar self-assessment scorecard developed for school lunchrooms by the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab and adopted by the United States Department of Agriculture. This webinar presents the “Grocery Store and Retailer Scorecard” tool and features speakers that highlight the behavioral economics that informed the tool’s development and the research conducted with grocers on feasibility and retailer adoption.

Profile: Portland Mercado


The Latino community in Portland, Oregon, has grown rapidly in the last 20 years, from 3.3 percent of Portlanders to 11 percent, and by 2040 it is estimated that 23 percent of the city’s residents will be Latino. This growth, however, has not been accompanied by increases in opportunity.

Recognizing the important link between access to healthy food, economic opportunity, community building, and culture, Hacienda Community Development Center (CDC) secured a federal Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) grant in 2012 to develop Portland Mercado, an innovative project which includes a Latino cultural space and public market, bringing fresh food and good jobs to the community.

Profile: Virginia Fresh Food Loan Fund


In 2013, Virginia Community Capital (VCC) launched the Virginia Fresh Food Loan Fund to enhance access to nutritious foods in Virginia’s inner cities, small towns, and rural communities. As a community development financial institution (CDFI), VCC supports small businesses and community development projects by offering flexible capital, investment opportunities, and advisory services.

2016 Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Grantee List


2016 Healthy Food Financing Initiative Grantee List.

2011 Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Grantee List


2011 Healthy Food Financing Initiative Grantee List.

2017 Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Grantee List


2017 Healthy Food Financing Initiative Grantee List.

WEBINAR-Funding Your Healthy Food Project with USDA Resources


As a nation, we must foster a food system that ensures urban and rural communities have access to fresh and healthy foods; small and mid-size farmers can produce and market food in an economically and sustainable manner; and consumers have the resources they need to live healthy and productive lives.
This webinar introduces the audience to several programs at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and provide examples of how USDA funding is being tapped to improve access to healthy foods and support local food system development in low-income urban communities.

Profile: Nojaim Brothers Supermarket and the New York Healthy Food and Healthy Communities (HFHC) Fund


The Nojaim Brothers Supermarket, Syracuse’s only independently owned grocery store, and a community hub — faced possible closure in 2010 due to dated infrastructure and decades of population and economic decline.
In addition to renovating his store, Paul Nojaim is working to help revitalize the Near Westside neighborhood. Through his leadership, the store is collaborating with St. Joseph’s Hospital, Syracuse University, and the Onondaga County Department of Health on several initiatives.

WEBINAR-Research Your Community: Virtual Training


Research Your Community is a new mapping tool available on the Healthy Food Access Portal that can help individuals and organizations better understand the communities in which they are working in to improve access to healthy food.

The tool can also be a valuable resource for your advocacy and fundraising efforts. The grocery landscape is ever changing, and data is one of many ways to paint a picture of a community’s need for healthy food access interventions. This webinar will train users about how to effectively leverage this new tool.

Profile: Cooperative Fund of New England


The Cooperative Fund of New England  has played a leading role in financing the Northeast’s cooperative food movement. As a CDFI it has served as a financer, lender, and advisor to nearly every food co-op in the area.

Cooperatives differ from traditional businesses in that they are jointly owned by, and operated for the benefit of, the people using their services. A cooperative’s profits are distributed among its members, and decisions are made democratically.

WEBINAR-Equity in Healthy Food Access: Engaging Women and Entrepreneurs of Color


This webinar highlighted strategies and valuable resources for engaging female entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color in financing healthy food access projects. 
The webinar presented the economic potential of entrepreneurs of color and female entrepreneurs, common barriers and challenges to accessing capital, promising approaches for connecting smaller businesses with resources, as well as case studies and best practices from the field. 

Profile: Healthy Food Financing and Pyburn's Farm Fresh Foods


Houston, home to over two million, is the fourth-largest city in the country, boasts a diverse industrial base and profitable health-care sector, and is one of the wealthiest cities in Texas.

Government leaders, community-based organizations, and business owners are, however, working toward a healthier city and a brighter future with the launch of a citywide healthy food financing initiative to spur affordable, fresh food retail development and the groundbreaking of Pyburn’s Farm Fresh Foods.

WEBINAR-Creating Equitable Food Systems with the Healthy Food Financing Initiative


Across the country, the federal Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) is working to increase access to healthy food in low income communities and communities of color. The program is supporting food retailers that are increasing equity by improving regional food systems, creating jobs, and strengthening local economies. 
This webinar will highlight how healthy food projects supported by HFFI, including food hubs and similar, innovative enterprises, are better connecting regional agriculture to local consumers. Experts will discuss challenges and share best practices and information on how to leverage financial and community-powered resources to ensure the success food regional food systems under an equity framework.

WEBINAR-The Grocery Store Prescription


Supermarkets are responding to the obesity crisis by changing their product offerings, in-store environments, and marketing practices to make healthy choices more accessible, affordable, and appealing. This webinar will summarize the factors that influence low-income consumers’ food choices and describe culturally appropriate interventions that promoting healthier shopping and eating. Explore effective nutrition education programs and come away with practical tips on how to work with grocery retailers in your community to make the healthy choice the easy choice.
Speakers Include:
--Cathy Califano, Associate Director, TRF Policy Solutions
--Anne Harrison, RD, LDN, Brown’s ShopRite
--Ellen Damaschino, Training Manager, Share our Strength’s Cooking Matters™
--Teresa Blanco, Wellness Program Manager, Northgate Gonzales Market

Profile: C Fresh Market


C Fresh Market is a 23,000-square-foot supermarket located in River Bend — one of the oldest and most ethnically diverse communities in Des Moines, Iowa. The community had not had a full-service supermarket for almost 10 years when C Fresh opened in January of 2013. The store has been developing a diverse and loyal customer base ever since and offers a variety of affordable ethnic and international groceries to the surrounding population.

The project received $712,000 in loan financing from IFF, a nonprofit community development financial institution serving the Midwest region.

WEBINAR-Building a Healthy Corner Store Network


In communities that lack supermarkets or other types of full-service food retail, families depend on corner stores for the majority of their food purchases. The choices at these stores are often limited to processed foods and very little, if any, fresh produce. An effective approach to improving healthy food access in corner stores is the development and launch of Healthy Corner Store Initiatives. As a result, networks of healthy corner stores in cities and states are emerging across the country. While the models and size can vary, the overarching goal remains the same: working with corner store operators and partners to source, price and promote healthier items in their stores. This webinar explores strategies, tactics, best practices and lessons learned on launching and implementing healthy corner store networks by highlighting existing efforts in New Jersey, San Jose, CA, & Cleveland, OH.
--Kamaryn Norris, National Campaign for Healthy Food Access Associate, The Food Trust (moderator)
--Erin Healy, Director of Healthy Eating Initiative, The Health Trust
--Ana Ramos, New Jersey Food Access Coordinator, The Food Trust
--Lindsay Smetana, Community Organizer and Program Manager, Tremont West Development Corporation

Profile: Salud Corporation


In 2011, Salud Corporation received a $341,000 Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) grant to grow the olive oil milling, bottling, and distribution capacities at a local facility in Dripping Springs, Texas. Salud Corporation is a for-profit social enterprise subsidiary of Business and Community Lenders of Texas (BCL of Texas), a nonprofit economic development organization. Salud is the country’s first Latina-led, start-up to manufacture and distribute high-quality, 100 percent extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) from locally sourced ingredients.

2015 Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Grantees List


FY 2015 Healthy Food Financing Initiative Grantees.

Profile: Latino Economic Development Corporation


Immigrant-owned food enterprises are growing across Minnesota thanks to a series of Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) investments supporting several Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) projects in Minneapolis. With investments in a Latino-owned grocery, a cooperative grocery, a Latino restaurant, commercial kitchens, a marketing cooperative, a commissary kitchen, and a produce warehouse for small agricultural cooperatives, the LEDC Immigrant Enterprise Healthy Foods Fund is strengthening the local food system, improving health, and building wealth in low-income immigrant communities of color.

Public Private Partnership Primer


Public-private partnerships (PPPs or P3s) are government initiatives or private business ventures that are funded with dollars from both the public and private sectors. PPPs have been implemented across the country in the form of local, state, and federal financing programs to promote healthy food retail. By helping retailers overcome the high cost related to food retail development, these programs help grocers and other vendors grow their businesses and increase access to healthy food in underserved communities. This tool lists key components, and other information to navigate this arena.

How to Build a Policy Effort


Find tips and resources on building a policy effort.

Profile: Circle Food Store


The reopening of Circle Food Store in New Orleans is part of the city's commitment to improve the business and economic infrastructure of the Seventh Ward after the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina.  A predominately African American, low- to moderate-income community, many residents struggle to access healthy food. With funding from the New Orleans Fresh Food Retailer Initiative (FFRI) along with an Economic Development Fund grant from the city and a loan from the Louisiana Office of Community Development, Circle Food Store owner Dwayne Boudreaux was able to finance the reopening and renovation of Circle Foods and help create 65 full- and part-time jobs for the community with 95 percent of these positions filled by local residents.

Profile: Northgate Market


Northgate Markets, a family-owned grocer with 34 locations in Southern California, responded to Inglewood residents’ request for better access to healthy food.  Located southwest of Los Angeles, Inglewood is a diverse community, with large African American and Latino populations.  Coming out of the Great Recession, the Inglewood community has continued to face economic hardships, with 21 percent of the population living below the poverty level, compared to 14 percent statewide. With funding from the California FreshWorks Fund (CAFWF), Northgate was able to expand and open 30,000 square feet of new grocery retail, improving food access for 105,000 nearby residents. Northgate also serves as a critical economic anchor for the area, creating 125 new jobs, most of which are held by local residents.

Profile: MyTown Marketplace


MyTown Marketplace, a supermarket that serves the Highland Falls community of New York State, opened in 2011 with a grant provided by the New York Healthy Food Healthy Communities (HFHC) Fund.  The HFHC Fund is a healthy food financing program that supports healthy food retail projects in communities where residents struggle with limited access to healthy foods. The HFHC Fund is administered by the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), a national community development financial institution, and The Food Trust, a national food access organization.

WEBINAR-Healthy Communities, Healthy Schools


Children consume a significant portion of their daily calories at school; when schools have healthy foods and beverages in cafeterias and vending machines, children eat better. But what if families don’t have access to healthy food when their children come home from school?

Without access to healthy foods, a nutritious diet and good health are out of reach. And access to healthy food brings a triple bottom-line benefit to communities – a revitalized economy, new jobs, and better health. These benefits also advance equity, the fair and just inclusion of all residents in communities.

Join co-sponsors MomsRising and PolicyLink for a healthy food access portal webinar that will draw connections between efforts to bring healthy food to schools and the movement for healthy food access in communities across the country. Speakers will share their successes and strategies for overcoming challenges in their work and provide recommendations to the broader community of advocates and practitioners.

Featured Speakers:
•    Allison Hagey, Associate Director, PolicyLink (moderator)
•    Monifa Bandele, Senior Campaign Director, MomsRising
•    Sheilah Davidson, Policy Program Manager, School Food Focus
•    Dara Cooper, Director, New York Food and Fitness Partnership

The Key Players Involved in Healthy Food Retail Strategies


The following is a guide of many of the key players involved in a healthy food retail project or program. Most healthy food retail projects will involve several of these key players.

The Basic Questions to Consider When Getting Started


When starting to think about building a healthy food project or program in your community, it is important to address some basic considerations and questions as you prepare your effort. The following is a quick summary of those key considerations. 

WEBINAR-New Research to Help Expand Healthy Food Access in Your Community


New research in a joint report by PolicyLink and The Food Trust, Access to Healthy Food and Why It Matters: A Review of the Research, underscores healthy food access as the foundation necessary for reaping the positive benefits associated with healthy food. The research reveals that improving healthy food access in low-income communities and communities of color continues to be an urgent need with nearly 30 million people living in low-income areas with limited access to supermarkets. The webinar features report authors along with a local government official. Speakers discuss how findings from the new report can be used to expand healthy food access in communities across the country.

Profile: R&G Family Grocers' Mobile Market


In 2010, the Healthy Community Store Initiative (HCSI) was created as a nonprofit corporation dedicated to enhancing the health of Oklahomans. The only nearby food retailers are convenience stores which do not sell the healthiest of fare and not at the most economical of prices. With these challenges in mind, HCSI began R&G Family Grocers which does business as the Real Good Food truck, a full-service, mobile grocery store that brings healthy, affordable food to 12 unique and underserved areas of Tulsa.

WEBINAR-Healthy Food Marketing: Trends & New Research


Healthy food marketing efforts have integrated approaches used by the grocery industry with academic research to create promising and feasible practices that make the healthy choice the easy choice.

Hear from experts about how these efforts, commonly referred to as in-store marketing strategies, are changing consumer behavior in grocery stores and supermarkets.

This webinar features the latest evidence from the field, and explore how new research is changing how the public purchases nutritious food. Healthy food marketing efforts are generating healthy outcomes for retailers and for consumers.

Profile: Mandela MarketPlace


Mandela MarketPlace grew out of grassroots community organizing efforts to shift resource dynamics, giving residents access to healthy food retail and neighborhood development funding. Incorporated in 2004, Mandela MarketPlace is a nonprofit organization that currently works in partnership with local farmers, local residents, and community-based businesses to build health, wealth, and assets through cooperative food enterprises.

Read this in-depth case study and accompanying photo essay for more information. 

WEBINAR-Growing and Funding Equitable Food Hubs


 Learn how you can develop an equitable food hub in your own community.  This webinar highlights how food hub operations are creating a more equitable and inclusive food system and discuss lessons learned and strategies for success.

WEBINAR-Healthy Food Access & Healthcare


With so many people, especially low-income people, affected by diet-related health conditions, building a connection between healthy foods and the doctor's office may be one of the most effective ways to improve health outcomes.

Profile: Desert Rain Food Service, Tohono O'odham Nation


For the Tohono O'odham Tribe in southwestern and central Arizona, food is the foundation of health, culture, community, family, and economies. Since 1996, the grassroots community organization Tohono O’odham Community Action (TOCA) has been dedicated to improving the health, cultural vitality, sustainability, and economic revitalization for the Tohono O’odham Nation.

This fall, thanks to TOCA’s new school food enterprise, Desert Rain Food Services, 700 children on the Tohono O'odham Nation will be served healthier school food sourced from local farmers. TOCA received a $300,000 Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) grant to pilot a school food service enterprise that supports healthier eating and a strong indigenous food economy.

WEBINAR- Voices for Healthy Kids Initiative


Advocacy efforts to improve access to healthy food at the local, state, and federal level have led to the creation of financing programs to support healthy food retail in underserved communities nationwide.

One key effort, Voices for Healthy Kids Initiative, led by the American Heart Association and The Food Trust, is advocating for state-wide policies to promote healthy food financing and corner store programs in key states across the country. This webinar will provide an overview of the Voices for Healthy Kids Initiative and discuss how advocates and community leaders can tap into resources to support state-level healthy food access efforts. Experts will discuss key successes from the field and share best practices.

WEBINAR-Food Policy 101: Expanding Healthy Food Access


In honor of Food Day 2013, the Healthy Food Access Portal held a food policy 101 webinar which brought together community leaders and activists from throughout the country to share strategies for improving access to healthy foods. Webinar speakers discussed the best way to harness the power of community to create policy change at the local, state, and federal levels. The webinar addressed a range of topics including why healthy food access is important, the role that food policy councils, community leaders, and local government can play in making real policy change, and how to engage community to improve food access and quality.

2014 Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Grantee List


FY 2014 Healthy Food Financing Initiative Grantees.