New York

Federal Policy Efforts (State-specific)

Low Income Investment Fund

Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) is using HFFI funding to provide financing and technical assistance to food markets located in, or planning to locate in, low- to-moderate-income communities that lack access to affordable, healthy food. LIIF has funded projects in Louisiana, New York, and Pennsylvania. Food Dynasty in Far Rockaway, NY received a $250,000 term loan to cover expenses and losses incurred during Hurricane Sandy. Triangle Plaza Hub in South Bronx, NY received a $10 million allocation of New Market Tax Credits and a $5.75 million leverage loan to transform an underutilized lot into an 86,000-square-foot mixed-use, transit-oriented facility which includes a full-service supermarket. The facility will create 188 permanent jobs and 117 construction jobs. Some of the funds from this award were used to support the development of healthy food supermarkets and a farmers market in the following New York cities: Mount Vernon, Highland Falls, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Red Creek, and Staten Island.

In addition to its national work supporting the development and expansion of fresh food outlets in underserved communities through its national financing and policy efforts, LIIF is the lead administrator for the New York Healthy Food & Healthy Communities Fund. As a result, LIIF has dedicated more than $30 million to increasing healthy food access for low income families. Financed projects include Urban Fresh in Far Rockaway, Key Food Market in Staten Island, and Nojaim Brothers Supermarket in Syracuse. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program

Note: LIIF is a CDFI headquartered in California, but LIIF is also working in Louisiana, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Cooperative Fund of New England

The Cooperative Fund of New England (CFNE) is a forty year-old CDFI that is using HFFI financing to increase healthy food access in New England and eastern New York State through the Healthy Food/Cooperative Communities initiative, which combines financing, development services, technical assistance, and data collection and measurement to increase low-income consumers' utilization and membership in co-ops. To supplement its HFFI financing, CFNE launched its Food Cooperatives and Healthy Food Access program (FCHFA) to help food co-ops better serve low-income communities. CFNE partnered with Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA), a regional food co-op association, to document food co-op programs in this area, promote their efforts, and support them in innovating and expanding healthy food access for local food insecure households. Since 2011, CFNE has financed $3.6 million in loans to nine HFFI-eligible food co-op projects, for their development and expansion around low-access communities throughout New England, including the Honest Weight Food Co-Op in Albany, New York. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program

Note: The Cooperative Fund of New England is a CDFI headquartered in Massachusetts that is working throughout New England and eastern New York State.

Action for a Better Community

Action for a Better Community, (ABC) is using HFFI financing to support the development of a 20,000 square foot grocery store in a section of the City of Rochester, New York, that is designated as a food desert by the USDA. ABC will provide a low-interest loan to Constantino’s Market, a family-owned and operated grocery business, for necessary start-up costs. This project is part of a major mixed-use redevelopment project led by the University of Rochester to create an urban village center, spur economic development, and keep residents and goods and services within the city limits. The jobs created by this project do not require advanced educational levels and are appropriate for low-income unemployed residents, including TANF recipients. This project will create 30 new full-time jobs for low-income individuals. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

​​​​​​​Greater Jamaica Development Corporation

Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC) is a community-building organization that plans, promotes, coordinates and advances responsible development to revitalize Jamaica and strengthen the region. GJDC used HFFI financing to implement the Queens Healthy Corner Store Initiative, a community-based food financing and economic development strategy in three low-income neighborhoods in Queens, New York. The Queens Healthy Corner Store Initiative creates increased access to healthy, affordable food, and it will create 40 new job opportunities. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

Leviticus 25:23 Alternative Fund

A not-for-profit financial intermediary, Leviticus 25:23 Alternative Fund, Inc. is using HFFI financing to support their emerging lending to healthy food-access projects within economically poor communities. The Fund provides flexible capital and financial services for the development of affordable housing and community facilities, especially child care centers, throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program

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. 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 were used to create a hydroponic produce farm in Brooklyn, New York. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program

Note: The Nonprofit Finance Fund is a CDFI headquartered in NewYork that finances projects in California, New York, and Pennsylvania. 

South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation

South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SoBRO) is using HFFI financing to develop a new Fine Fare supermarket in the South Bronx. In addition to creating 25 new full-time jobs, this full-service supermarket will include a healthy eating grocery section offering fresh and affordable foods. The store will also provide free classes on healthy cooking for customers.

SoBRO will also $400,000 in CED-HFFI funds and leverage its established partnerships with United Business Cooperative (UBC) and BORN Corp., to increase access to healthier food options and create employment opportunities. In partnership with BORN Corp., to purchase equipment to launch a cold-pressed juice bar and healthy food eatery in the South Bronx. SoBRO will also assist BORN in recruiting staff from the South Bronx community through its workforce development programs. In addition, SoBRO will assist the UBC, develop and manage a 200 square foot food concession stand at the Roberto Clemente Plaza. The concession stand will offer community health and wellness events such as healthy cooking demos and health and fitness classes and will provide a group of small, Bronx-based restaurants with technical assistance incorporating healthy menu items in the concession stand. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, Inc.

Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, Inc. (CHLDC), will use HFFI funds for a commercial development project to increase access to healthy, affordable food to the Pitkin Avenue Corridor in Brooklyn, New York. This project is a part of the Sustainable Communities: East New York planning initiative led by the City of New York and funded through a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant. CHLDC will develop 7,290 square feet of ground floor retail space that will be occupied by a local grocery, and is part of a mixed-use project that will develop 60 affordable housing units for a total of 77,290 square feet of new construction. CHLDC will use HFFI funds to provide a low-interest loan to Cypress Pitkin Berriman L.P., a CHLDC partnership entity established to develop, manage and operate the proposed residential and commercial building. The loan will allow for the development of the retail space to accommodate a grocery store, which will create 15 new full-time permanent jobs, at least 75% of which will be filled by individuals with low-income. The proposed project will also include an education component, with educational programs designed to encourage healthy food choices. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

State & Local Policy Efforts

New York City FRESH Program

In New York City, the Bloomberg administration acted on the New York Supermarket Commission's recommendations by creating the FRESH Program (Food Retail Expansion to Support Health) to encourage healthy food retail development in underserved areas throughout the city. Launched in summer 2010, the FRESH Program (1) provides tax incentives to healthy food retailers, (2) creates incentives in the zoning code for real estate developments that incorporate healthy food, and (3) creates a single point of access for supermarket operators to interface with city government. Click here to learn more about the FRESH Program.

New York Healthy Food & Healthy Communities Fund

In 2006, New York City public officials, including Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, began a concerted effort to improve access to healthy foods in neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. This investigation highlighted the need for statewide intervention and the creation of task force, funded by the Friedman Foundation and convened by New York City’s Food Policy Coordinator, the Food Bank of New York City, the New York City Council, the Food Industry Alliance of New York, and The Food Trust, to address the barriers to supermarket and other fresh food retail development in underserved communities across New York State. As a result, the New York Supermarket Commission created a set of policy recommendations to incentivize healthy food retail investment in these areas, including the recommendation that a statewide grocery financing program be created. In response to the recommendations of the New York Supermarket Commission, Governor Paterson launched the New York Healthy Food & Healthy Communities (HFHC) Fund in 2010, a $30-million business financing program to encourage supermarket and other fresh food retail investment in underserved areas throughout the state.

The program provided grants and loans made available through a revolving loan fund to eligible projects. The initiative included a $10-million commitment from the state’s Empire State Development Corporation. This investment from the State of New York leveraged over $192 million in additional funding, including $20 million from Goldman Sachs Bank. The Low Income Investment Fund was the lead administrator for the fund and partnered with Reinvestment Fund and The Food Trust to implement the program.

The New York Healthy Food & Healthy Communities (HFHC) Fund provided $192,092,204 to twenty-six healthy food retail projects aimed at improving access to nutritious food for over 83,000 people in underserved communities in New York State.  The twenty-six projects that received HFHC funding are spread across New York City boroughs and many upstate cities and rural towns, including Buffalo, Syracuse, Mount Vernon, Red Creek, Highland Falls, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Hudson, and Broome County. Projects included new and expanded/renovated grocery stores, mobile markets, farmers markets, and corner stores. The Fund’s investments have so far supported 205,630 square feet of new, improved, or preserved food retail space and created or preserved 1,452 direct permanent and construction jobs.

Though the Fund has been fully deployed, there is still need for more access to healthy food retail in lower-income, underserved communities throughout New York. In 2015, through the Voices for Healthy Kids Campaign, the New York Affiliate of the American Heart Association (AHA) launched an advocacy campaign to recapitalize the HFHC Fund. Campaign managers organized a diverse coalition of statewide stakeholders, including HFHC Fund managers and representatives from the grocery, health, government, and child advocacy sectors, to provide direction and support for the campaign. In early 2016, AHA also released the report ‘Healthy Food = Healthy Economy: Improving the Economic Vitality of New York’s Underserved Communities via Healthy Food Access’ to highlight the tremendous impact of the HFHC Fund, share maps that bring attention to underserved communities that still exist throughout the state, and recommend that the state reinvest in supporting healthy food retail development in areas of need.

Even though the campaign’s aim to get a $15 million investment from the state to recapitalize the HFHC Fund was not met, the campaign did get traction in the legislature. Ultimately, Rochester Senator Richard Funke was successful in getting a $500,000 allocation from the governor’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative to focus on healthy food retail development for underserved New York Communities. Advocates continue to work to get dedicated HFHC funds from the state.

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.