In 2009, PolicyLink, The Food Trust, and The Reinvestment Fund initiated a national campaign, with partners and stakeholders from across the country, to create a comprehensive federal response to address the limited and inequitable access to healthy foods in low-income communities in both rural and urban America. The White House and the First Lady recognized this challenge and paved the way to building a Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), See here for a video of former First Lady Michelle Obama discussing policy solutions for improving access to healthy food.
Five years later, more than 100 organizations, representing a diverse set of stakeholders, have voiced their support for a national solution to the lack of access to healthy food. The campaign has resulted in the inclusion of HFFI in the farm bill, where it was authorized for up to $125 million and given a home in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Since 2011, over $195 million has been awarded through the federal HFFI, bringing jobs, economic development, and improving access to healthy food for low-income communities across the country. HFFI's public-private partnership model has leveraged over $1 billion in grants, loans, federal tax incentives, and investments from financial, health care, and philanthropic institutions, enabling HFFI to finance hundreds of successful projects. One-time grants and loans targeting both urban and rural communities have been distributed in more than 35 different states and are being used to create jobs, revitalize communities, and improve access to healthy food. See here for a summary of HFFI. Read Financing for Healthy Foods to learn more about the impact of HFFI and CDFIs on improving healthy food access in low-income communities.
HFFI grantees are using their HFFI funds to support a wide range of healthy food projects that are designed to meet locally determined community needs and priorities, including the construction of new and renovated grocery stores, farmers markets, corner stores, food hubs, mobile markets, kitchen incubators, cafes, and even urban farms.
Search this list of states to find HFFI grantees and projects in your community.