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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Community Economic Development Healthy Food Financing Initiative Projects

Deadline: April 27, 2016

Community Economic Development (CED) discretionary grant funds will be awarded to Community Development Corporations (CDCs) for community-based efforts to improve the economic and physical health of people in areas designated as food deserts. Additionally or as an alternative, 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. 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 low-income individuals and families through the creation of employment and business opportunities in low-income communities.

The CED-HFFI program’s 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 grants will be made as part of a broader strategy to address objectives such as decreasing dependency on Federal programs, chronic unemployment, and community deterioration in urban and rural areas. CED projects are expected to actively recruit low-income individuals to fill the positions created by CED-funded development activities, and to assist those individuals to successfully hold those jobs and ensure that the businesses and jobs created remain viable for at least one year after the end of the grant period.

Projects must also create at least a minimum number of jobs based on the following formula:

[Total Amount of Federal CED-HFFI Funds Awarded] divided by [$25,000 for construction projects or $20,000 for non-construction projects] = [Minimum Number of Jobs to be Created]

CED-funded projects can be non-construction or construction projects. The CED program permits facility construction as needed to support business creation, business expansion, and/or job creation. However, it is important to note that short-term construction jobs associated with preparing for business startup or expansion are not counted when determining the number of jobs created under the CED program as they are designed to be temporary in nature.

Bonus points will be awarded for proposed healthy food projects that involve collaboration with other Federal HFFI Programs and certain additional Federal programs that address healthy food access, target counties designated as having persistent poverty, and will be located in states or Trust territories that do not have an active CED-HFFI project.

Amount: $9,500,000 is available for 13 grants ranging from $100,000-$800,000. The grant period for non-construction projects is 3 years; for construction projects, the grant period is 5 years.

Eligibility: Private, non-profit CDCs with 501(c)(3) or non-501(c)(3) status; and with 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 community economic development activities. The Board of Directors must have representation from each of the following: community residents, business leaders, and civic leaders.

Link: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/foa/files/HHS-2014-ACF-OCS-EE-0819_2.htm

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