New York

Healthy Food Access Portal Profiles

Learn more about successful projects and research studies advancing healthy food access in the community:

Federal Policy Efforts (State-specific)

Action for a Better Community

Action for a Better Community (ABC) is a Community Action Agency that promotes and provides opportunities for low-income individuals and families to become self-sufficient.

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. 

Proposed Project Outcomes

  • 30 jobs created
  • Funds to be leveraged: $3,608,000

Source of money: HFFI CED Program, Fiscal Year(s): 2014

Cooperative Fund of New England

The Cooperative Fund of New England (CFNE) is a community development financial institution (CDFI) founded in 1975 that uses HFFI financing to increase healthy food access in New England and eastern New York State. It combines financing and technical assistance to increase low-income consumers' access to healthy food through co-ops. Since its founding, CFNE has deployed over $51 million from social investors to make over 900 loans to new or expanding co-ops and nonprofit organizations, creating or retaining 11,800 jobs, 5,800 units of affordable housing, and thousands of business ownership opportunities. CFNE has experienced a remarkably high borrower repayment rate of over 99%, due in part to the broad community involvement required to successfully launch a cooperative.

To supplement its HFFI financing, CFNE launched its Food Cooperatives and Healthy Food Access program to help food co-ops better serve low-income communities. CFNE partners with Neighboring Food Co-op Association (a regional food co-op association), and Hunger Free Vermont (a state-wide food security organization) to document, promote, and improve food co-op healthy food access programs. This program is working with thirteen food co-ops with need-based discounts serving over 2,000 households.

CFNE has received three HFFI awards leading to over $6.2 million in loans to ten HFFI-qualified food co-ops, for their development and expansion around low-access communities throughout New England.

HFFI Projects and Impacts
Honest Weight Food Co-op, Albany NY, urban

  • $1,250,000 loan; $5 million leveraged; relocation of the food co-op into a larger facility
  • 71 jobs created or retained
  • 18,000 sq. ft. of retail space

Greenstar Food Co-op, Ithaca NY, rural

  • $1,038,496 loan for expansion to third site
  • 22 jobs created or retained
  • 3,000 sq. ft.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program; Fiscal Year(s): 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017
Fiscal Year 2011, $2MM, Fiscal Year 2012, $1MM, Fiscal Year 2015, $1.25MM, Fiscal Year 2017, $1MM committed

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

​​​​​​​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. Marshaling the resources of the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors, GJDC’s work expands economic opportunity and improves quality of life for the ethnically and economically diverse residents of Jamaica and for the region at large, which benefits from rational, well-planned, and sustainable metropolitan growth. Greater Jamaica Development Corporation designed and developed Jamaica Market, a combination food court, farmers’ market, and office space that created 70 permanent jobs. The market is an incubator for women and minority-run businesses.

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. GJDC partnered with Public Health Solutions and Food Access Concepts to implement the Initiative. 

Projected Impacts

•    40 jobs created in Queens
•    Opening of three new Healthy Corner Stores in the Jamaica, Corona, and Flushing neighborhoods in Queens within walking distance to WIC Centers
•    Long-term reduction of child and adult obesity rates in these communities
•    Encouraging the purchase of healthy food through outreach and education efforts to inform residents on how healthy foods can be incorporated into their diets
•    Increased access to healthy, affordable food in these communities, especially for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants and other low-income residents


Source of money: HFFI CED Program; Fiscal year(s): 2013
 

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. GJDC partnered with Public Health Solutions and Food Access Concepts to implement the Initiative.

Projected Impacts

  • 40 jobs created in Queens
  • Opening of three new Healthy Corner Stores in the Jamaica, Corona, and Flushing neighborhoods in Queens within walking distance to WIC Centers
  • Long-term reduction of child and adult obesity rates in these communities
  • Encouraging the purchase of healthy food through outreach and education efforts to inform residents on how healthy foods can be incorporated into their diets
  • Increased access to healthy, affordable food in these communities, especially for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants and other low-income residents

Source of money: HFFI CED Program; Fiscal year(s): 2013

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.  

Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program; Fiscal year(s): 2015
 

Local Initiatives Support Corporation

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is a national community development financial institution (CDFI) founded in 1979 with a mission to build healthy, sustainable neighborhoods that are communities of choice: good places to work, do business, and raise children. LICS takes a holistic approach to improving community health in underserved places by promoting better housing, education and job opportunities. LISC targets work to shore up fundamental resource every neighborhood needs to keep resident well: easy access to primary health care, affordable, nutritious food and safe recreation spaces. LISC has offices in 32 cities and works with 86 rural partners serving over 2,000 counties in 44 states. 

LISC uses HFFI financing to expand healthy food options in low-supermarket access areas throughout the nation including Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Indianapolis, and Rhode Island. We offer low-cost loans for the development of healthy food retail outlets, which have range from full-service grocery stores to farmers markets.

Projected Impacts
Massachusetts Avenue Project Farmhouse, Buffalo, NY, $1.36MM investment

  • First community food training and resource center dedicated to providing food-related training and education programming, and healthy food options, to residents living in Buffalo’s food deserts
  • 10,175 sq. ft. multi-use, community food hub designed to remedy food deserts, provide food-related job training

Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program; Fiscal year(s): 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Fiscal Year 2012, $3MM, Fiscal Year 2013 ,$3MM, Fiscal Year 2014, $3MM, Fiscal Year 2016, $3MM, Fiscal Year 2017, $1.5MM

Low Income Investment Fund

As a leading national community development financial institution, the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) invests capital in low income people and communities. Since its founding in 1984, LIIF has invested over $2.3 billion in capital, serving over 2 million people and generating over $59 billion in family and societal benefits.

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.

HFFI Projects and Projected Impacts

  • Urban Fresh, Far Rockaway
    • Helped recover from $500,000 worth of losses and expenses incurred during Hurricane Sandy.
  • Nojaim Bros. Supermarket, Syracuse
    • Renovated a 50-year-old building
    • Financed new equipment and a 3,000-square-foot expansion
  • Key Food Market, Staten Island
    • An existing one-story building was turned into a new 9,000 square foot market.

Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program; Fiscal year(s): 2011, 2013, 2014

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. Since 1980, NFF has worked to connect money to mission effectively so that nonprofits can keep doing what they do so well.

Through their 7 offices, NFF also speaks out, writes, and conducts research to help advocate for positive change nationwide. As the only national CDFI focused exclusively on nonprofits, NFF has lent over $250 million and leveraged $1.4 billion of capital investment on behalf of their clients. In partnership with others, NFF has generated $16 million for nonprofits for building reserves, cash reserves and endowments through their multiyear asset-building service, BFF. They also provided $1.2 million in loan guarantees, $10.3 million in 9/11 recovery grants, about $13 million in capital grants, and $2 million in planning grants.

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 were used to create a hydroponic produce farm in Brooklyn, New York. 
 

South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation

Since its founding in 1972, the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SoBRO) has grown to address all aspects of community development: assisting business creation and growth, training residents according to the needs of employers, offering opportunities for youth to learn and develop, and creating affordable housing and commercial space that reverses blight in the community.

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.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program; Fiscal year(s): 2013

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.