South Carolina

Federal Policy Efforts (State-specific)

Butterfly Foundation

The Butterfly Foundation used HFFI financing to support the creation of a Healthy Food Hub, The Monarch and Fresh Food Store, located in a food desert on the North Side of Spartanburg, SC. The facility opened November 8, 2014 and includes a Café, Retail Store, Community Rooms, Incubator Kitchen, Urban Gardens and Farmers Market. Since the grant awarded from The Department of Health and Human Services, The Butterfly Foundation and Partners have raised and leveraged an additional $973,000 for the construction of the site. In addition, The University of South Carolina received $1,496,228 in funding from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health to conduct a survey and collect data on the benefits of locating a healthy food hub in a community with limited food access. The Butterfly Foundation’s partners include the City of Spartanburg, Northside Development Corporation, Hub City Farmers Market, Duke Energy Foundation, Smith Foundation, SC Association of Community Development Corps., University of South Carolina, and Women Giving of Spartanburg. The facility approximately 4000 square ft., and the site covers approximately one acre of land. HFFI funds were used for the completion of construction of the facility and development of the entire site. You can find more information here

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

South Carolina Community Loan Fund

South Carolina Community Loan Fund (formerly Lowcountry Housing Trust) has infused more than $23.7 million in loans into the community, creating 1,152 units of affordable housing, four healthy food outlets, five community facilities, five community businesses, and 2,685 jobs in the process. Through its Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), SCCLF finances the construction and renovation of healthy food enterprises including (not limited to) grocery stores, corner stores, farmers markets, food hubs, and mobile markets selling healthy food in underserved communities. SCCLF staff has been specially trained by national experts such as UpLift Solutions and US Treasury on underwriting healthy food loans. Since its healthy food financing initiative began in 2011, SCCLF has underwritten and approved over $1,800,000 in healthy food loans. You can find information here.  

Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program

State & Local Policy Efforts

South Carolina Healthy Food Financing Initiative

During the 2016 legislative session, the S.C. General Assembly appropriated $250,000 for the creation of the South Carolina Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI). The program seeks to increase access to healthy food for the more than one million South Carolina residents who live in food deserts. It is a public-private partnership that supports local farmers and businesses by providing access to loans to support the establishment, renovation or expansion of different food projects, including farm businesses, mobile markets, small food stores, and grocery stores. The program is designed to provide flexible financing for the start-up, rehabilitation or expansion of businesses and nonprofits. To be eligible, applicants seeking financing must be located in a designated Food Desert Area or Low Supermarket Access Community. Nonprofit organizations, for profit entities, and municipalities may apply for funding.

The South Carolina HFFI is administered by the South Carolina Community Loan Fund (SCCLF), a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that has been lending in South Carolina communities since 2007. In addition to originating loans, SCCLF provides technical assistance services to applicants for financial support.

Background and Advocacy

In 2013, borne out of the SC Food Policy Council and with support from the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, the SCCLF convened the South Carolina Food Access Task Force. The task force developed five public policy recommendations to improve the availability of healthy, affordable food in underserved areas. These recommendations are rooted in a strategy that addresses capital, affordability, supply, planning and transportation. Number one on the list of recommendations was the need to develop a healthy food financing initiative to provide capital to support the establishment, renovation, or expansion of different food projects, including food hubs, farm businesses, mobile markets, small food stores, and grocery stores that make available affordable, local, and healthy food.

In 2015, SCCLF partnered with the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, Eat Smart Move More SC, and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) to advocate for funding to support the Healthy Food Financing Initiative. As a result of these efforts, the South Carolina General Assembly included $250,000 in the state budget for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative in 2015. Due to the advocacy of SCCLF and partners, in June 2016, South Carolina General Assembly ratified the state’s budget which included an appropriation of $250,000 for the Health Food Financing Initiative. For update-to-date information about these advocacy efforts, visit the CFSA website 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.