Economic Development

Green for Greens: Finding Public Financing for Healthy Food Retail

February 3, 2012 in Featured Articles, Reports, Tools

January, 2012

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.

Access to Healthy Foods Toolkit

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.

Pop-up Neighborhoods–Interesting Concept for Healthy Retail?

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 and Oakland Retail Pops, San Francisco Business Times, Oct. 21, 2011


HCSN Issue Brief. The Supplier-Retailer Gap: Connecting Corner Stores with Local Foods

December 5, 2011 in Featured Articles, Reports

Winter, 2012.

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.

Humboldt Park corner stores get fresh

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.

Food, Environmental, and Economic Development in the District of Columbia Act of 2010 (FEED DC Act)

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.

On the corner: Stores that bring life to our neighborhoods

July 22, 2011 in News

Berkeleyside, July 22, 2011. Corner stores and their owners play an important role in the neighborhoods they occupy, whether that role stems from the availability of fresh produce, unhealthy snacks or liquor, or serving as a community meeting spot. Read profiles of five corner stores in South Berkeley, California.

Juice Box: A Healthy Corner Store

July 7, 2011 in News

An interview with the owner of the Juice Box, a healthy corner store in St. Louis. July 7, 2011.


Fresh Food Retail Development: Corner Store Conversions

March 1, 2011 in Reports

Healthy Corner Store Issue Brief: Spring 2011

The Healthy Corner Stores Issue Brief is a new quarterly publication created by The Food Trust for the Healthy Corner Stores Network. Each thematic issue will include an introduction to the topic, project profiles, best practices, and resources.

Receive Issue Briefs by Email

Each Issue Brief will be posted to the HCSN Discussion List, but it is possible that the email may be caught by spam filters. If you’d like to ensure that you receive every Issue Brief directly, you can subscribe to the Issue Brief email list. If you want to receive other announcements from the HCSN, you can subscribe to our HCSN Discussion List (in Google Groups).