Department of Health and Human Services: Community Economic Development Healthy Food Financing Initiative Projects
The Community Economic Development (CED) program, Healthy Food Financing Initiative (CED-HFFI) supports projects that implement strategies to increase healthy food access, foster self-sufficiency for low-income families, and create sustained employment opportunities in low-income communities. To do this, the CED-HFFI program will provide technical and financial assistance for healthy food ventures designed to: (1) improve access to, and purchase and consumption of healthy, affordable foods; and (2) address the economic needs of individuals and families with low-income through the creation of employment and business opportunities in low-income communities.
The objectives are to support businesses and commercial activities that improve the access to healthy foods and the overall health of community residents while creating long-term jobs in the community that:
- Bring healthy food choices to communities that are in food deserts through the establishment of new healthy food retail outlets or by supporting the offering of a significant number of healthy food choices at an existing retail outlet that lack such choices
- Develop and enhance distribution systems to increase the amount of healthy food going to healthy food retail outlets in food deserts
- Develop strategies that promote or encourage the purchase of healthy foods, including outreach and education to consumers in food deserts about healthy food choices and how they can be integrated into their diet
- Provide income to individuals with low-income so that they can become self-sufficient
CED-HFFI program provides funding for projects aimed at improving access to healthy affordable foods located in geographic areas with a demonstrated need for the proposed project. To accomplish this, all projects must work to serve a food desert. Areas that are not in a USDA-defined food desert may still be eligible for funding through the CED-HFFI program if applicants can point to indicators of need, such as poor access to a healthy food retail outlet, a high percentage of low-income residents, incidence of diet-related health conditions, or high concentrations of persons eligible for food assistance programs (e.g., Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children – WIC, school lunch programs).
CED-HFFI funds can be non-construction or construction projects. For non-construction projects, the grant period is 3 years. For construction projects, the grant period is 5 years. The CED-HFFI program permits facility construction as needed to support participating business creation, participating business expansion, and/or job creation. However, it is important to note that short-term construction jobs associated with preparing for business start-up or expansion are not counted when determining the number of jobs created under the CED-HFFI program as they are designed to be temporary in nature.
Amount: Total: $9,500,000; Range: $100,000-$800,000.
Eligibility: Applicants must meet three conditions:
- Applicant must be a private, non-profit CDC with 501(c)(3) or non-501(c)(3) status
- Applicant must have articles of incorporation, bylaws, or other official documents demonstrating that the CDC has as a principal purpose the planning, developing, or managing of low-income housing or CED activities
- The Board of Directors must have representation from each of the following: community residents, business leaders, and civic leaders
Note: The CDC designation does not need to be specified on any official documents as long as the three requirements stated earlier in this section are met.
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