265733 Implementing healthy food financing initiatives with the right capital

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 10:30 AM - 10:50 AM

Patricia Smith, JD , The Reinvestment Fund, Philadelphia, PA
Introduction: The Reinvestment Fund, one of the nation's leading community development financial institutions (CDFI), has been working to improve fresh food access in underserved communities since 2004. The Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative (FFFI), a nationally recognized success, helped develop 88 new or improved grocery stores and alternative healthy food business enterprises in “food deserts” throughout the state. Central to FFFI's achievements was the diversity of capital sources that allowed the program to offer a broad range of financial products to its customers. Methods: FFFI used a blend of loans and loss reserves; tax credits incentives for investors; and grants to support a wide range of purposes. Each of FFFI's financial tools offered unique benefits and were designed to provide an appropriate level of support for healthy food retailers, whether the project involved construction of a new full-service urban supermarket or the refresh of small rural grocery store or purchase of EBT equipment by farmers' markets. Results: Replication efforts modeled on FFFI are being launched at the federal level and in several states and cities. As more and more communities develop financial incentives to improve access to healthier foods at affordable prices, there is much to learn about various sources of capital that can be used to fund these initiatives. Discussion: Our presentation will explore the advantages and disadvantages of potential sources of funding for healthy food financing initiatives and compare the different financial incentives that underpin FFFI and new programs in California, New Jersey, New York and New Orleans.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Program planning
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify potential public and private sector funding for healthy food financing initiatives; 2. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various sources of capital that can be used to fund programs that increase access to healthy foods; and 3. Compare the different sources of capital used by the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative and other programs that have been launched in California, New Jersey, New York and New Orleans.

Keywords: Access, Food and Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Since 1985, The Reinvestment Fund has invested $1 billion in 2500 projects that create affordable housing, high-performing charter schools, quality supermarkets, and green businesses across the mid-Atlantic region. I am responsible for designing and coordinating our public policy agenda and healthy food financing programs, including securing public and private sector funding. During my career I have held senior leadership positions in the foundation, government and nonprofit sectors and presented at numerous conferences on community development.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.