State and Local
Virginia Fresh Food Loan Program
Virginia Community Capital (VCC), a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and community development bank in Richmond, Virginia, is working to launch the Virginia Fresh Food Loan Fund (VFFLF). VFFLF will address the unmet capital needs of healthy food enterprises in Virginia's rural and urban areas. The commitment to form the VFFLF is a scale up and expansion of VCC's 2012 healthy corner store pilot program, “Get Fresh East End,” which encourages corner stores to provide healthy food options to the residents in Richmond's East End neighborhood: the largest underserved community for a city its size in the United States. Over the next three years, VCC will replicate this corner store initiative in two additional urban underserved communities in Virginia. This expansion includes increasing the number of corner stores and urban areas included in the program, deepening engagement with participating stores by increasing store capacity to sell and market healthy items through financial incentives and providing refrigeration and other necessary infrastructure to support the inventory and marketing of healthy food items.
VCC plans to develop an $11 million dollar fund from a variety of sources, including through program and mission-related investments from foundation partners and from their own loan fund. The VFFLF combines small business technical assistance as well as lending opportunities to increase the capacity of urban corner stores to sell and market healthy items and foster the expansion and formation of food hubs, and other small and medium-sized food enterprises. This commitment will significantly increase healthy food sales in participating corner stores and is anticipated to create an average of 12 jobs per food hub. VCC was recently recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative America for their commitment to launching the VFFLF.
For more information, see the Virginia Fresh Food Loan Program.