Federal Policy Efforts (State-specific)

Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc.

Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc. (BBC) used HFFI financing to support The Bridgeport Market, Café & Community Kitchen (MC2) initiatives in Cleveland, Ohio. Through the development of a market, café, and community kitchen, this project will create sustainable employment and business opportunities, improve access to healthy affordable foods, and promote education. The community kitchen includes a training area for cooking classes and health literacy classes for adults and youth, as well as a facility that allows local farmers and gardeners to prepare and package food. The MC2 food hub will hire and train up to 64 low-income people from the community. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

​​​​​​​Cincinnati Development Fund

Cincinnati Development Fund (CDF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit lending institution that fills a gap not covered by traditional lenders. CDF continues to provide development services to support several large projects that are top priorities of the Cincinnati Fresh Food Task Force, a committee appointed by the City of Cincinnati. These include: Apple Street Market, an emerging healthy foods project in the low-income LSA neighborhood of Northside; and Midpointe Crossing, a mixed-use development that includes a 60,000- to 80,000-square-foot supermarket in the food desert neighborhood of Bond Hill. CDF loans include $2.2 million in financing, including $1 million in HFFI-FA award deployment and $1.2 million in CDF direct lending, to support healthy food access developments such as Avondale Grocery, Findlay Market, Epicurean Mercantile Co, and The Community Market. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program

​​​​​​​Economic and Community Development Institute

The Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) is using HFFI financing to support the Food Desert Community Outreach and Jobs Creation Program in Columbus, Ohio. The program’s goal is to increase healthy food access and generate jobs for low-income individuals by creating a revolving loan fund for food-related businesses. ECDI is also working to develop an FCI Plaza Market grocery store and a community food commissary that serves as an incubator for food-based businesses. ECDI is also working with Green City Growers of Cleveland to develop a 3.25-acre hydroponic greenhouse, which will employ 40 residents and be the largest inner-city greenhouse in the U.S.

ECDI used its 2012 HFFI funding to provide capital, training, and technical assistance in the Greater University Circle (GUC) neighborhood. The project consists of a revolving line of credit in the amount of $350,000 and a $50,000 permanent working capital term loan for Green City Growers Cooperative (GCGC); a revolving small business loan fund of $100,000 for healthy food businesses in the GUC neighborhood, including businesses that provide services to or purchase produce from GCGC, and targeted training and technical assistance designed to help portfolio business acquire the capital they need to start or expand and create jobs. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

Finance Fund Capital Corporation

Finance Fund Capital Corporation used HFFI financing to expand its statewide healthy food-focused financing activities to help meet the unique needs of healthy food projects operating in economically underserved communities. With HFFI and other support, Finance Fund  developed Healthy Food for Ohio (HFFO) to increase access to affordable fresh food in underserved areas, improve the diets and health of Ohio residents, and spur economic development and revitalization. The Healthy Food for Ohio (HFFO) program launched in March of 2016 and is Ohio’s first‐ever statewide healthy food financing program, providing flexible financing to eligible rural and urban healthy food retail projects in underserved areas throughout the state. To date, HFFO has leveraged $12MM on an investment of $2.55MM for 6 healthy food projects. Together, these projects provide 35,478 Ohio residents with affordable fresh food. They are creating an estimated 167 direct jobs as well as creating or expanding over 67,930 sq. ft. of retail space. Supported projects through this fund include: Mobile Market on the Green, Simon’s Supermarket in Euclid, Hattie Larlham Food Hub, Prather’s IGA, Campbell’s Market, and The Market at St. Mark’s in East Cleveland. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program

St. Clair Superior Development Corporation

St. Clair Superior Development Corporation (SCSDC) is using HFFI financing to address food insecurity in its community by establishing Hub 55, a food hub, farmers market, café and brewery. Hub 55 will improve food security and contribute to community revitalization by creating employment and business development opportunities that did not previously exist for low-income individuals. Located in a food desert in Cleveland, OH, Hub 55 will spark the essential commercial vitality that will improve Cleveland’s east side neighborhoods and help the local economy flourish. This food hub will create a distribution opportunity for food suppliers and entrepreneurs, thus simultaneously ensuring employment for low-income individuals and bringing healthy food choices to low access and low-income areas. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

Tremont West Development Corporation

For the past 30 years, Tremont West Development Corporation (TWDC), a nonprofit organization, had worked with a variety of residents, business owners, and community partners, serving the Tremont neighborhood in the City of Cleveland. TWDC is using HFFI financing to help establish a 12,600 square foot grocery store in the central Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio, a designated food desert. TWDC will provide a low-interest loan to Constantino’s Market, a family-owned and operated grocery business, for build-out and start-up costs. The project will create 30 new full-time, full-year grocery jobs. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

University Circle Incorporated

University Circle Incorporated (UCI) is using HFFI financing to support a low-interest loan for the expansion of Constantino’s Market, a locally owned grocery in the University Circle neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio, which is a low-income community that lacks healthy food access. The owners of Constantino’s Market worked with a certified training provider to break down barriers to employment for individuals with economic disadvantages, physical or mental disabilities, and/or a history of incarceration. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

​​​​​​​Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation

The Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC) is a citywide, multi-faceted neighborhood development organization launched in 2009 to catalyze strategic reinvestment in neighborhoods throughout the City of Youngstown. YNDC is using HFFI financing to support the expansion of Roots Urban Farm and the Kitchen Incubator project in Youngstown, Ohio. Roots Urban Farm offers training in gardening, farming, and vacant land reuse to participants of all ages. The Kitchen Incubator project provides start-up businesses with facilities to create value-added food products. These projects increase the capacity of local residents to start food-based businesses. Project partners include Common Wealth Inc., Job and Family Services, the Ohio Small Business Development Center, The Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County, and ACEnet. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

MidTown Cleveland

Midtown Cleveland will use HFFI financing to implement EAT Well – MidTown Cleveland Health and Wellness Collaborative to address two key social determinants of health—access to healthy affordable food, and employment. EAT Well will create 32 employment and business opportunities while contributing to community revitalization, and providing a more sustainable quality of life. Partners include University Hospitals (UH), Sodexo, Hemingway Development, Wholesome Wave, and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

State & Local Policy Efforts

Healthy Food for Ohio (HFFO) Program

The Healthy Food for Ohio (HFFO) program supports the development of new and existing grocery stores and other healthy food retail in underserved areas throughout the state. In June 2015, Governor John Kasich signed the FY 2016-17 operating budget that included a $2 million provision of seed capital to create the statewide HFFO program. Since its launch in March 2016, the program has funded eight projects, providing healthy food retailers with financing for costs associated with land acquisition, predevelopment, construction, equipment, infrastructure and related expenses. In June 2017, Governor Kasich signed the FY 2017-18 operating budget which included $200,000 for the continued implementation of the HFFO program, which is operated through the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, and administered by Finance Fund Capital Corporation, a statewide Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that has significantly leveraged public seed capital. Finance Fund is working with The Food Trust, a national food access organization, to review each application and determine whether each proposed project meets program goals. Applicants for funding are evaluated and approved on a rolling basis while funds remain available. For more information, including a program overview, program guidelines and the Pre-Application, click here.
For more information on the launch of HFFO:

Case Studies on Projects Funded through HFFO:

Background and Advocacy

In 2014, the Ohio Regional Convergence Partnership and Finance Fund, in partnership with The Food Trust, conducted a statewide research study to identify communities in Ohio with greatest need for improved access to healthy food. Study findings translated into a mapping report, Food for Every Child: The Need for Healthy Food Financing in Ohio, which revealed that over two million Ohioans live in lower-income communities underserved by supermarkets.

This report was used as the launching point for a series of meetings of the Ohio Healthy Food Financing Task Force beginning in June 2014. The task force, comprised of key stakeholders representing leaders from state and local government, foundations, grocery businesses, corporations, hospitals, universities and nonprofit organizations, identified barriers to healthy food retail development and then came up with practical policy recommendations to overcome those barriers and support grocery stores and other healthy food retail across the state. A key recommendation of this group was the creation of an Ohio Healthy Food Financing Initiative. Learn more about the policy recommendations generated by the Ohio Healthy Food Financing task force here: Supporting Grocery Development in Ohio. As described above, the HFFO program launched in March 2016.

Finance Fund also participates in Reinvestment Fund’s ReFresh Initiative, a national network of CDFI practitioners engaged in improving access to healthy food across the United States, particularly in areas where long-standing barriers exist that make it difficult for residents to live healthier, more stable lives. Finance Fund was awarded $2 million in funding through the federal FY2015 CDFI-HFFI program, enabling its CDFI affiliate, Finance Fund Capital Corporation (FCAP), to expand its healthy food-focused financing activities through the HFFO program to help meet the unique needs of healthy food projects in underserved communities. Finance Fund was also awarded $4 million in round six of the Ohio New Markets Tax Credit (ONMTC) Program administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency. Find out more about Finance Fund's food access work here.

Additionally, the American Heart Association in Ohio has prioritized Healthy Food Financing as a key part of their policy agenda. More information on the American Heart Association efforts can be found 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.