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The Los Angeles Good Food Purchasing Program: Changing Local Food Systems, One School, Supplier, and Farmer at a Time

In 2011-2012, the Los Angeles Food Policy Council developed the Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP), an innovative local food procurement policy aimed at building markets for good food to create an equitable food system for all of Los Angeles. Developed through a participatory process that engaged over 100 stakeholders and procurement experts, GFPP commits major government institutions to a...
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Produced by Portal | The Food Trust, The Reinvestment Fund, PolicyLink | 2016

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.
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Case Studies | Union of Concerned Scientists | 2016

Fixing Food: Fresh Solutions from Five U.S. Cities

Fixing Food presents case studies of programs from five U.S. cities that are helping residents grow and sell healthy food, training the next generation of farmers, and bringing healthy food to places where people gather. 

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WEBINAR-Leveraging Institutional Purchasing Power to Expand Access to Healthy Food

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...
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Journal Artcles | Journal of Food Research | 2016

Employee and Customer Reactions to a healthy in-store Marketing Intervention in Supermarkets

Supermarkets are a primary source of food for American households, and increased presence in low-income, high-minority neighborhoods present opportunities to increase access to healthy foods. It is important to assess store manager and customer reactions to in-store marketing interventions. This study aimed to evaluate manager and customer reactions to stealth, low-cost, sustainable in-store...

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Article | 2016

Exploring Stories of Innovation

Exploring Stories of Innovation is a series of short articles that explore how local governments from across the United States are strengthening their community’s food system through planning and policy. Beginning in 2012, Growing Food Connections (GFC) conducted a national scan and identified 299 local governments across the United States that are developing and implementing a range of...

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Article | Growing Food Connections | 2016

Communities of Innovation: Cleveland, Ohio

The City of Cleveland municipal government began advancing food policy in 1976 with support for urban agriculture, namely community gardening, which has remained the city’s key area of focus. In 2008 other food systems issues, beyond urban agriculture, began receiving unprecedented municipal government support. For example, the municipal government began linking food production policies with...

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Article | Growing Food Connections | 2016

Communities of Innovation: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Building on existing community food system efforts and public interest in local foods, the City of Minneapolis, Minnesota has successfully developed a broad range of food systems related policies. The municipal government and its strong non-governmental partners take a full systems approach, addressing food system areas ranging from urban agriculture to local food business, community kitchens,...

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Article | Growing Food Connections | 2016

Communities of Innovation: Lawrence and Douglas County, Kansas

The local governments of Douglas County and the City of Lawrence, Kansas work collaboratively to strengthen their food system through planning and public policy. This innovative, intergovernmental partnership along the urban-rural continuum recognizes that food system challenges and thus their solutions cross jurisdictional boundaries.
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Publications | PolicyLink | 2016

The Farm to Plate Investment Program: A 10-Year Roadmap to Revitalizing Vermont’s Food System

This profile highlights the Farm to Plate (F2P) Investment Program, which was designed to strategically strengthen the state’s food and farm sector and encourage the purchasing of local foods.
 
The Vermont Legislature commissioned the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund to develop a strategic plan to revitalize its food and farm sectors and increase purchasing of local foods. Implementation...
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Article | Chicago Tribune | 2016

Fresh food fund helps open grocery store in Waukegan 'food desert'

A cheery, well lit, Save-A-Lot grocery store — featuring fresh produce, lowcost cereals and meat packaging on site — opened this month on Waukegan's southwest side, an area officials called a "food desert" for underserved residents.The store employs 35 local residents and plans to hire two assistant store managers soon, said Save-A-Lot district manager Thomas Hill, after a dozen officials...

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Case Study | Rural Grocery Initative | 2016

Rural Grocery Ownership Models: Community Owned Enterprises

The ability to address community challenges collectively and adapt to changing needs is critical to community sustainability. Those towns that are able to work cooperatively are usually linked by both economic and social relationships and are able to develop a deep sense of community and even entrepreneurship. Furthermore, these communities encourage diversity, inclusivity and acceptance,...
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Article | Growing Food Connections | 2016

Communities of Innovation: Seattle, Washington

The ability to address community challenges collectively and adapt to changing needs is critical to community sustainability. Those towns that are able to work cooperatively are usually linked by both economic and social relationships and are able to develop a deep sense of community and even entrepreneurship. Furthermore, these communities encourage diversity, inclusivity and acceptance,...
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Article | Growing Food Connections | 2016

Communities of Innovation: Baltimore City, Maryland

Baltimore City, Maryland faces many of the same food system opportunities and challenges of other post-industrial cities, but the municipal government is aggressively pursuing a “food in all policies” approach by engaging agencies throughout the city. This feature highlights the initial efforts that established this approach, including an effort to institutionalize intergovernmental...

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Article | Growing Food Connections | 2016

Communities of Innovation: Cabarrus County, North Carolina

Cabarrus County is an innovative, agricultural community that has experienced both tremendous political successes and setbacks to strengthening its local food system. Between 2008 and 2014, the county government took important steps towards institutionalizing and funding local food systems policy and programmatic work by establishing a food policy council and creating a local food system...

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Article | Growing Food Connections | 2016

Communities of Innovation: Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is known for its well-regarded agricultural land preservation program. Located in southeastern Pennsylvania, the county of a half-million people uses plans and policies to support agriculture and other components of their economy.

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Article | Sun Sentinel | 2016

Florida lawmakers consider lowcost grocery store loans to promote healthy eating

Concerned with the growing number of Floridians struggling to put nutritious yet affordable food on their tables, state lawmakers are weighing a proposal that would bring full-service stores to their neighborhoods. Florida's Healthy Food Financing Initiative would give low-cost loans to nonprofit organizations or for-profit businesses to put grocery stores in what the federal government calls...

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Food Research and Action Center, Children’s HealthWatch | 2016

Food Insecurity among Immigrants, Refugees, and Asylees

IN FOCUS for this issue is “Food Insecurity among Immigrants, Refugees, and Asylees in the United States,” which explores the limited, but growing, body of research on this potentially vulnerable population. The second section of the issue – NEW RESEARCH – highlights ten recent studies related to food insecurity, including new research on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),...

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Produced by Portal | The Food Trust, The Reinvestment Fund, PolicyLink | 2016

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...

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Webinars | US Department of Health and Human Services | 2016

Community Economic Development (CED) Program Overview Webinar

This session provided prospective CED applicants with an overview of the CED program, including the program’s mission and objectives, organizations eligible to apply, the program’s target population, and examples of successful CED projects. The webinar also provided a summary of funding requirements and estimated award amounts. 

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Webinars | US Department of Health and Human Services | 2016

CED and CED-HFFI Funding Opportunity Announcements

This session presented information about the CED and CED-HFFI grant competition, based on the CED and CED-HFFI funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). It outlined the programs’ purposes and strategies, provided tips and tools for submitting an application for CED or CED-HFFI funding, and identified key application criteria and requirements.

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Produced by Portal | The Food Trust, Reinvestment Fund, PolicyLink | 2016

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,...

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Tools | United States Department of Agriculture | 2016

The Economics of Local Food Systems: A Toolkit to Guide Community Discussions, Assessments and Choices

The Local Food System Toolkit was developed by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to help communities reliably evaluate the economic impact of investing in local and regional food systems. The Local Food System Toolkit provides detailed guidance in seven modules to measure and assess the expected economic impacts of local food investments.

Using real-world projects, experiences, and...

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Research | The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis | 2016

Healthy Food Access: A View of the Landscape in Minnesota and Lessons Learned from Healthy Food Financing Initiatives - Summary

This study explored healthy food financing initiatives (HFFIs)—one possible solution for expanding healthy food access in underserved communities. HFFIs are public-private funds that offer flexible capital in the form of loans and grants to developers and operators of food retail businesses. Interviews with managers of existing funds throughout the United States reveal that: 
 
  • Seed...
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Reports | John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future | 2016

Instituting Change: An Overview of Institutional Food Procurement and Recommendations for Improvement

This report reviews the literature and key information resources regarding institutional food service procurement systems, presents the potential benefits of a largescale shift among institutional procurement policies, discusses some of the existing barriers to the adoption of policies that favor regionally and/or sustainably produced food, and provides recommendations and tools for...

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Tools | King Conservation District | 2016

King Conservation District Infrastructure Mapping Tool

In collaboration with King County and the Cascade Harvest Coalition, the King Conservation District has developed an easy-to-use online tool that farmers, cottage industry business owners, facility owners, and policy makers can access to expand opportunities for local food production in King County. The new tool provides access to information about more than 400 food system facilities in King...

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Reports | Seeds of Native Health | 2016

Seeds of Native Health: A Campaign for Indigenous Nutrition Semi-Annual Report

Since 2015, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, First Nations Development Institute and the Notah Begay III Foundation have funded 38 distinct nutrition-related projects run by tribes and Native-led organizations through the Seeds of Native Health campaign, with additional partnerships with the American Heart Association and University of Minnesota and the University of Arkansas to shape...

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Reports | Union of Concerned Scientists | 2016

The Devastating Consequences of Unequal Food Access: The Role of Race and Income in Diabetes

This study by Union of Concerned Scientists is the first to show that living near healthy food retailers is associated with lower diabetes rates across all U.S. counties. The impact on diabetes rates is even more pronounced in counties with above average populations of color, which is significant given that communities of color are disproportionately affected by this tragic and costly...

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Fact Sheets | University of Minnesota Extension, Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships | 2016

Rural Grocery Store Survey: At-a-Glance

This fact sheet is the first in a series that share “at-a-glance” findings from questions related to what it is like to run a grocery store in rural Minnesota. The University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) worked with the Minnesota Center for Survey Research to conduct a statewide survey of Minnesota’s rural grocers, with the findings presented here. 

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Reports | USDA Rural Development | 2016

Running a Food Hub: Assessing Financial Viability

This report is volume 3 of USDA’s food hub technical report series and provides modules, best practices, and financial benchmarks for different stages of business development for food hubs to assess their own financial viability and assist in making strategic business decisions to maximize profits and control costs.

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Produced by Portal | The Food Trust, Reinvestment Fund, PolicyLink | 2016

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.

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Academic Articles | American Journal of Public Health | 2016

Effects of Proximity to Supermarkets on a Randomized Trial Studying Interventions for Obesity

This study assessed whether proximity to a supermarket modified the effects of an obesity intervention for participating children aged 6 to 12 years with a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile. Authors found that living closer to a supermarket is associated with greater improvements in fruit and vegetable intake and weight status in an obesity intervention. 

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Reports | California Institute for Rural Studies | 2016

Assessing and Addressing Farm Worker Food Security, Yolo County, 2015

California Institute for Rural Studies assessed the food assistance resources in Yolo County and the level of food insecurity among selected Yolo County farm workers living in a rural food desert. The project was designed to address the USDA Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program priorities by determining the level of farm worker food security and planning long-term solutions...
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Resource Guide | Santa Barbara County | 2016

Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan

The Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan is a strategy-based community “blueprint” for an accessible, thriving, sustainable, and healthy food system. It addresses every aspect of the food system in a way that supports healthy people, a healthy economy, and a healthy environment.
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Publications | National Association of Convenience Stores and United Fresh Produce Association | 2016

Convenience Store Distribution Options for Fresh Produce

Published by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) and the United Fresh Produce Association, this new resource looks at distribution options available to store owners and provides an overview of the various options available to retailers seeking to increase their fresh produce offerings.

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Tools | ChangeLab Solutions | 2016

Healthy Retail: A Set of Tools for Policy and Partnership

Developed by ChangeLab Solutions, this set of tools, including a playbook and policy poster, conversation starter, and collaboration workbook offers resources for, offers framing, strategies, and examples to develop a comprehensive approach to improving the healthy food retail environment.
 
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Tools | ChangeLab Solutions | 2016

Retail Environment Conversation Starters

This set of 4 one-pagers introduces the rationale behind and benefits of a comprehensive approach to the retail environment. Use the sample talking points in each of the conversation starters below to identify shared goals and make the case for collaboration.

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Tools | ChangeLab Solutions | 2016

Healthy Retail Collaboration Workbook

This step-by-step guide discusses strategies for forming 
a partnership among tobacco control, nutrition, and excessive alcohol use prevention programs. Read the examples and case studies to see partnerships in action, and use the activities, scripts, and worksheets to build relationships of your own.
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Reports | Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation | 2016

The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America 2016

After increasing steadily for decades, the national childhood obesity rate has leveled off, but it is still alarmingly high compared with to a generation ago. The federal government has several sources that track obesity rates among children and teens, including the National Health and Nutrition Evaluation Survey and three major studies that track national trends and rates within some...

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Reports | New York Academy of Medicine | 2016

Food and Nutrition: Hard Truths about Eating Healthy

The seventh and final report in the “City Voices: New Yorkers on Health” series, “Food and Nutrition: Hard Truths about Eating Healthy” shows that while food stamps and food pantries are critical resources, they are falling short when it comes to helping low-income New Yorkers maintain healthy eating habits. The report is the result of surveys and focus groups conducted in Manhattan, Brooklyn,...

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Reports | U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service | 2016

Household Food Security in the United States in 2015

In 2015, 42.2 million people in 15.8 million households were food insecure at some point during the year, according to data released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service in the new report Household Food Security in the United States in 2015. The concept of “food security” is used by the USDA to measure a household’s ability to access adequate food....

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Fact Sheets | Safe Routes to School National Partnership | 2016

Safe Routes to Healthy Food

This fact sheet explores the benefits of making healthy food accessible by foot, bike, or transit, and highlights examples of how businesses, agencies, and nonprofits are taking action to improve transportation options to healthy food.

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Reports | Center for Disease Control and Prevention | 2016

Perspectives of Urban Corner Store Owners and Managers on Community Health Problems and Solutions

Urban corner store interventions have been implemented to improve access to and promote purchase of healthy foods. However, the perspectives of store owners and managers, who deliver and shape these interventions in collaboration with nonprofit, government, and academic partners, have been largely overlooked. We sought to explore the views of store owners and managers on the role of their...

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Reports | Healthy Eating Research | 2016

Minimum Stocking Levels and Marketing Strategies of Healthful Foods for Small Retail Food Stores

The healthfulness of foods and beverages found in retail food stores differs widely across the United States, both by location of the store as well as by store type. Communities with predominantly white residents have two to four
times more supermarkets and large-chain grocery stores than communities of color. In contrast, lower-income and communities of color have more small food outlets,...
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Produced by Portal | The Food Trust, The Reinvestment Fund, PolicyLink | 2016

The Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI): An Innovative Public-Private Partnership Sparking Economic Development and Improving Health

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.

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Approximately 1 Million Unemployed Childless Adults Will Lose SNAP Benefits in 2016 as State Waivers Expire

Roughly 1 million of the nation’s poorest people will be cut off SNAP (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) over the course of 2016, due to the return in many areas of a three-month limit on SNAP benefits for unemployed adults aged 18-50 who aren’t disabled or raising minor children.  These individuals will lose their food assistance benefits after three months regardless of how hard they...

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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...
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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...
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Fact Sheets | United States Department of Agriculture | 2015

2014 Farm Bill Implementation: By the Numbers

2014 Farm Bill programs impact every American and millions of people around the world. Since President Obama signed it into law one year ago, USDA has made important progress to implement every title of the 2014 Farm Bill.
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Produced by Portal | The Food Trust, The Reinvestment Fund, PolicyLink | 2015

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...

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Resource Guide | Center for Disease Control and Prevention | 2015

Healthier Food Retail Action Guide

This resource provides guidance on how to develop, implement, and partner on initiatives in food retail settings. We hope this resource will help you in your work to improve access, availability, and affordability of healthier foods and beverages in your state.   
 
This Action Guide is unique in that it is organized around public health roles, particularly at the state level. 
The document...
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Resource Guide | Center for Disease Control and Prevention | 2015

Nutrition: Strategies and Resources

This resource provides an overview of how to develop a state or community assessment in food retail settings.  This version contains more details and ‘how-to’ information for practitioners to use. These assessments can help identify disparities in peoples’ ability to access affordable, nutritious foods. The document takes practitioners through a step-by-step process for conducting assessments,...

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Produced by Portal | The Food Trust, The Reinvestment Fund, PolicyLink | 2015

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...

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Reports | The Food Trust | 2015

Food for Every Child: The Need for Healthy Food Financing in Michigan

Michigan must address the significant need for fresh food resources in many of its communities. A myriad of factors have created a shortage of healthy food resources in lower-income areas across the state, creating a public health
crisis.
 
Despite having the nation’s second most diverse agriculture industry, 17.9% of Michigan’s residents are food insecure, meaning they lack reliable access to...
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