February 3, 2012 in Featured Articles, Reports, Tools
Green for Greens: Finding Public Financing for Healthy Food Retail is a new publication from HCSN co-conveners ChangeLab Solutions. Bringing healthy food to “food deserts” requires tenacity, ingenuity, and a significant investment of capital. The good news is that there’s a substantial amount of public financing available for projects that make healthy food more available to low-income people. Federal, state, and local governments offer a range of funding programs that support economic development in these communities.
This guide provides a general overview of economic development and ideas for how to approach economic development agencies with healthy food retail proposals. It also provides a comprehensive overview of local, state, and federal economic development programs that have been or could be used for healthy food retail projects.
December 22, 2011 in Reports, Tools
This introductory toolkit from Policy Link provides information on four popular strategies used to help low-income and communities of color increase access to healthy, fresh, and affordable food. The toolkit helps you decide among Grocery Store Development, Corner Stores, Farmers’ Markets, and Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens programs and provides many of resources on how to get started. It includes research, data and mapping, and how to choose a tool. Great resource for those just starting out.
December 8, 2011 in News, News & Events
Oakland has a new Pop-up Neighborhood–five stores all opening at the same time in formally unoccupied block of downtown. They will receive free rent for six months, as well as marketing advice from the city’s economic development department. While none of these businesses are food markets, the concept is intriguing for a potential healthy corner store program. Set up as business incubators, these entrepreneurs receive the “buzz and density” they need for just starting out, while the city receives a revitalized neighborhood with more people on the streets, potentially reducing crime and increasing economic activity (and jobs). Add a healthy corner store into the mix, and you have a self-sufficient vibrant community. For more info, see popuphood.com and Oakland Retail Pops, San Francisco Business Times, Oct. 21, 2011
December 5, 2011 in Featured Articles, Reports
Has your program struggled with sourcing fresh, local foods for corner stores? The Supplier-Retailer Gap: Connecting Corner Stores with Local Foods explores this issue in detail, highlighting two different program approaches from opposite sides of the country: New York (GrowNYC) and Oregon (LCHAY). This Issue Brief, written by The Food Trust for the HCSN, outlines keys to success and lists resources for further exploration of the topic.
November 18, 2011 in News
November 9, 2011, The NW Passage
A new Healthy Corner Store program launched in the Humboldt Park community of Chicago. Run by the the local community and economic development organization West Humboldt Park Development Council, the organizers will provide eleven convenience stores a fresh food kiosk, a cooler and signs to market the newly available foods. The Development Council is blogging about the progress of the project as well.
November 14, 2011 in Tools
Healthy Food Retailing Tool – PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity. This Healthy Food Retailing Tool describes inequities in access, what causes them, and how to address them. It includes information on retailing opportunities (including improving existing stores); case studies of healthy food retailing projects; and links to additional websites and resources, including policy reports and recommendations.
October 31, 2011 in Tools
Approved in December 2010.
The FEED DC Act will expand access to healthy foods in Washington D.C. by improving existing food stores (including corner stores) and attracting new stores to underserved areas. It will also provide support for farmer’s markets and fruit and vegetable vendors. Besides improving access to healthy foods, the Act will also encourage green technology in food stores and promote job creation in areas with high levels of unemployment. The Act will use private and public funds. It outlines plans for a “Healthy Corner Store Program” to assist corner stores by providing grants, loans, tax credits, equipment and other financial and technical assistance on a competitive basis. The Act will also “develop a plan for establishing a commercial distribution system for fresh produce and healthy foods to corner stores” and “assist corner stores in becoming more energy efficient.” Up-to-date information on the FEED DC Act can be found here.