California

Federal Policy Efforts (State-specific)

The East Los Angeles Community Union

For more than 40 years, The East Los Angeles Community Union (TELACU) has been improving the lives of individuals and families through community development, economic empowerment, and educational advancement. TELACU is the largest Community Development Corporation in the United States. (TELACU) is using HFFI financing to support a low-interest loan for Titan FoodsInc. to improve access to affordable and healthy foods in Commerce City, a section of East Los Angeles that is underserved by grocery retail. Commerce City has more than double the national unemployment rate and this project will create 33 new, permanent, full-time jobs, the majority of which will be filled by low-income individuals, including CalWORKS/TANF recipients, non-custodial parents, and at-risk youth. The project will substantially improve the community's access and consumption of healthy foods, while improving the local economy. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

Community Services Unlimited

Community Services Unlimited, Inc. (CSU) was established in 1977 and headquartered in South Central Los Angeles. Since then it has created community programs and organizing campaigns like the early Safe Seniors to the more recent Free Medical Screening Program and the most recent From the Ground Up! CSU is using HFFI financing to support its Community Food Village ProjectGrowing Healthy program, and From The Ground Up! program, which have been developed in response to needs expressed by community members. The Growing Healthy program engages youth in urban farming and food based learning to help them adopt a healthier lifestyle and develop an awareness of the food access and environmental justice issues impacting their communities. From The Ground Up! is an apprenticeship program that offers at-risk youth training and mentorship in farming, gardening and entrepreneurial skills. Through the Village Market Place, they sell and distribute fresh "beyond organic" produce from CSU's urban mini-farms and local farmers. In 2006, CSU hosted a Sustainable Transport Collective training and converted a diesel school bus to run on recycled vegetable oil. You can find out more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

​​​​​​​Mandela MarketPlace, Inc.

Based in Oakland, California, Mandela MarketPlace (MMPlace) is a non-profit Community Development Corporation, incorporated in 2004, that works in partnership with local residents, family farmers, and community-based businesses to improve health, create wealth, and build assets through cooperative food enterprises in low income communities. Through community organizing, education, business cultivation, and ‘ladder-up’ financing, community members engage in the development, operation, and ownership of a local economy and sustainable food system. MMPlace is using HFFI financing to support a revolving loan fund for business expansion and to expand its capacity as an small business and social enterprise Accelerator of existing and new food enterprises in Oakland, California. The two initial businesses to receive loans from the revolving fund are Mandela Food Cooperative, a worker-owned grocery store in West Oakland, and Mandela Foods Distribution, which connects underresourced farmers from Salinas Valley to MMP's network of urban retail outlets.  MMPlace will also launch and manage Ashland MarketPlace & Café accelerator in 2,141 square feet of retail space located on the ground floor of Ashland Place, an 85 unit affordable housing complex, targeting low-income residents and youth. The accelerator provides incubation and mentoring services, business start-up and expansion loans for Eden, Jellicles, and Spirit Spy Farms, Ashland Café, and 4 kiosks operated by newly launched or expanded community owned food enterprises. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

​​​​​​​Capital Impact Partners

Capital Impact Partners (CI, formerly NCB Capital Impact) has received CDFI HFFI funding for three consecutive years, totaling just over $8 million dollars in funds. CIP used HFFI financing to manage the first iteration of the California FreshWorks Fund (CFWF), a healthy food financing program that supports healthy food retail outlets in underserved communities throughout the state of California, including underserved areas in San Diego, Inglewood, Pismo Beach, and South Los Angeles. CFWF is a private-public partnership loan fund that raised $272 million in its first iteration to invest in bringing grocery stores and other forms of healthy food retailers to underserved communities. You can find more information about Capital Impact Partners here. CFWF is now currently administered by Northern California Community Loan Fund.

Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program

Note: Capital Impact Partners is a CDFI headquartered in Virginia, but Capital Impact Partners is working in California and Michigan.

​​​​​​​Nonprofit Finance Fund

As one of the nation's leading community development financial institutions, Nonprofit Finance Fund® (NFF®) makes millions of dollars in loans to nonprofits and pushes for fundamental improvement in how money is given and used in the sector. The Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) uses HFFI financing to offer healthy food retail outlets coupled with education and outreach programs that promote food purchasing behavior change in low-income communities. Some funds from this award will be used to support the creation of City Slicker Farms in West Oakland, California, an urban farm and park, as well as LA Kitchen in Los Angeles, CA, to support tenant improvements to support the program’s culinary job training, food processing/food recovery, and senior meal distribution efforts. You can find more information about Nonprofit Finance Fund here.

Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program
Note: The Nonprofit Finance Fund is a CDFI headquartered in New York, but the Nonprofit Finance Fund is also working in California and Pennsylvania

Stanislaus Economic Development and Workforce Alliance

In 2013, Stanislaus Economic Development and Workforce Alliance (The Alliance) received $800,000 dollars from the HFFI HHS program to develop the Turlock Supermarket Project through a public-private partnership with NUCP Turlock, LLC and Mi Pueblos Supermarket. The supermarket will be located in California's Central Valley, an area that produces half the fresh foods and vegetables in the U.S. but leaves many local, low-income residents without access to healthy, fresh food. This project will also create 40 jobs for residents from Turlock and surrounding areas. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

El Pájaro Community Development Corporation

Established in 1979, El Pajaro CDC (EPCDC) recognized a need among Latino Spanish-speaking business owners to gain access to various sources of financial aid. While developing small business and micro-enterprises through a variety of strategies, the organization carries out its mission of promoting equal access to economic opportunity. Based in Watsonville in California’s Pajaro ValleyEl Pajaro Community Development Corporation (EPCDC) will use HFFI funding to construct a new food processing and distribution facility. The facility will install equipment to add two production lines to the commercial kitchen and make improvements to the berry cooling and processing space. The project aims to create 32 new, full-time jobs. You can find out more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

Poverty Solutions, Inc.

Based in Los Angeles, California, Poverty Solutions, Inc. (PSI) will use its $800,000 grant from the HFFI HHS program to make loans to nine healthy-food businesses, including the expansion of the Compton Tartar Farmers Market to open a mini-food hub at a location in Compton that formerly housed a different farmers market, as well as Optimal Foods, a fresh food service contractor that distributes healthy lunches to schools. Through these nine businesses, the project will create 60 new, full-time jobs. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation

Based in Oakland, CA, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC)  will use HFFI financing to help establish a full-service grocery store within walking distance to four low-income census tracts and a U.S. Department of Agriculture designated Food Desert in West Oakland. Leveraging a total of $6,228,655 in nonfederal funds, this project will create 30 full-time jobs, 75% of which will be filled by individuals with low-income. You can find out more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

Northern California Community Loan Fund

Founded in 1987, Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF) was created when local people came together with a desire to invest their money in nonprofits and social enterprises that were improving lives and building equity in low-income Northern and Central California neighborhoods. NCCLF will use HFFI financing to expand access to healthy food throughout NCCLF’s service area of Northern and Central California where there are currently more than 300 USDA-designated food deserts. You can find more information here.

Currently, NCCLF is serving as the lead administrator of the California FreshWorks Fund, in partnership with a diverse range of investors, advisers, and partners - view the full list here. For more information and to apply for funding please go to California FreshWorks

Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program

State & Local Policy Efforts

California FreshWorks Fund

In July 2011, following an earlier effort to enact AB 581, the California Healthy Food Financing Initiative passed by Governor Brown, the state launched a new model for financing healthy food access for the more than 1 million Californians living without ready access to fresh, healthy food. With celebration from former First Lady Michelle Obama and leadership and investment from the philanthropic sector, The California Endowment and partners launched the California FreshWorks Fund (CAFWF).

CAFWF, a public-private partnership loan fund, spurs economic development and inspires innovation in healthy food retailing by providing loan and grant financing to grocery stores and other eligible healthy food access projects. In its first iteration, CAFWF raised more than $273 million, including leveraged funding from the federal HFFI, and was administered by Capital Impact Partners, a CDFI. Currently, the Northern California Community Loan Fund, another California-based CDFI, is serving as the lead administrator of the program, in partnership with a diverse range of investors, advisers and partners. Emerging Markets serves as the program’s food access organization, responsible for sourcing loan and grant opportunities.

To date, the CAFWF has supported nearly 58 projects serving urban and rural communities across the state, increased access for more than 800,000 Californians and created or retained 1,600 jobs.

  • To learn more about the impact of the California FreshWorks Fund, read this three-part evaluation commissioned by The California Endowment here.

For a full understanding of Healthy Food Financing Initiatives from advocacy to implementation, see The Food Trust’s Healthy Food Financing Handbook.

To find examples of other federal, state, and local policy efforts and initiatives -- as well as financing opportunities -- by going to Find Money & Policy Efforts by State.