Federal Policy Efforts (State-specific)

HOPE Credit Union

HOPE is a family of development organizations dedicated to strengthening communities, building assets and improving lives in the Delta and other economically distressed parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. Since it was first selected in 2011 by the City of New Orleans to manage the Fresh Food Retailer Initiative – which provides grants and loan funding to fresh food retailers in underserved areas – HOPE has financed fresh food retail projects exceeding $42 million, and has developed over 179,000 square feet in additional grocery store space to help expand access to healthy food in low-income and underserved communities. HOPE has assisted 61 projects; provided financing to several retailers; and leveraged $38 million in non-city funds. It played a critical role in significantly reducing the food access disparities that existed following Hurricane Katrina. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program

State & Local Policy Efforts

Mid South Healthy Food Initiative

Administered by Hope Enterprise Corporation in partnership with The Food Trust, the Mid South Healthy Food Financing Initiative is a regional healthy food financing program that offers offers flexible financing for new store development and renovations, as well as training with retailers to promote healthier choices projects across three states in the Mid South region. The initiative started in New Orleans but has grown to support grocery projects in urban areas across Mississippi, Louisiana and the greater Memphis area. The program was developed through the support of $3 million in initial seed funding from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, which was leveraged further by  the national Healthy Food Financing Initiative. For more information about the program, visit the program website here.

Mississippi Small Business and Grocer Investment Act

In 2012 the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, the National Grocers Association, and The Food Trust convened the Mississippi Grocery Access Task Force, comprising local community, economic, and public health leaders. The group addressed how residents in underserved communities can better access healthy food and generated policy recommendations to support supermarkets and other fresh food retail across the state.

On the heels of the work of the Grocery Access Task Force, the Mississippi state legislature passed MS HB 1328, the Small Business and Grocer Investment  Act, to create a grant and loan program to increase access to fresh and healthy food in underserved communities. Though advocates continue to seek funding for the program, there is a growing interest and commitment to economic development in communities underserved by grocery stores and other healthy food retail, along with the creation of expanded opportunities for American farmers.

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.