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Community Developments Investments (August 2012)

  Bank Financing of Healthy Food Initiatives Banner  
A Look Inside ...
There is a growing effort to transform low-income communities lacking grocery stores into thriving markets, and banks can assist by providing the right financing tools.
  The PieLab, in Greensboro, Ala., which serves up homemade pies, conversation, and baker training, received a Healthy Food Fund loan from the Hale Empowerment and Revitalization Organization. The fund’s loan pool initially was funded by Regions Bank.

The Reinvestment Fund: A Healthy-Food Financing Leader
For an estimated 24.6 million Americans, access to full-service supermarkets is severely limited. This deficit is particularly pronounced in low-income urban, rural, and minority communities.

  A loan from TRF helped Greensgrow Farm, a nonprofit organization in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa., expand from an urban farm into a commercial farm, a retail nursery,  and more.
Federal Agencies Support Financing Efforts to Improve Access to Healthy Food
The U.S. Department of the Treasury, through the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, participates in a coordinated federal effort with the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture to increase access to healthy, affordable food in low-income communities that lack such food options.
  Produce baskets at the 2012 farmers market at the U.S. Department of the Agriculture in Washington, D.C., display the types of healthy foods that many low-income communities lack.
The California FreshWorks Fund: Bringing Food to the Community
NCB Capital Impact has financed many healthy-food retail establishments over the past 30 years, and its experience indicates that a lack of flexible financing is one of the greatest obstacles to the creation of healthy-food retail outlets in underserved communities.
  Northgate Gonzalez Market brings fresh produce to a largely Hispanic community in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego, Calif. the store provides fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats, Spanish-language labeling and specialty items such as cactus.
New Markets Tax Credit Transaction Brings Food Jobs to Newark
The Healthy Food Financing Initiative is most recognized for bringing fresh food to underserved neighborhoods, commonly known as “food deserts.” Retail suppliers are only part of the story of bringing better food to the table. The packaging, warehousing, and distribution of produce and fresh meats and fish to the retailers also play roles.
  Forklift driver is one of 250 jobs that are expected to be available at a new cold-storage facility owned by the Newark Farmers Market and the Wakefern Food Corporation in Newark, N.J.
This Just In … OCC’s Four Districts Report on New Opportunities for Banks
OCC District Community Affairs Officers report on local and regional opportunities for banks to become involved with community efforts, including opportunities to help finance healthy-food initiatives.
  Map of OCC Districts