North Carolina

Federal Policy Efforts (State-specific)

Goler Street Depot Renaissance Corporation

Goler Street Depot Renaissance Corporation (GSDRC) is using HFFI financing to support the opening of a new social enterprise restaurant and four community programs designed to improve healthy food access for nearby residents. The restaurant will serve as an anchor in the Goler community and provide new employment opportunities, while community programs will engage residents in growing, cooking, and selling healthy food. Project funds will allow for creation of the new, full-service restaurant, an expansion of catering services, and a new retail shop. The project will create 33 full-time, permanent jobs. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

Green Opportunities Inc.

Located in Asheville, Green Opportunities (GO) is providing support and start-up capital for three food-related social enterprises: an urban agriculture enterprise, a community kitchen, and a grocery store. GO is also converting a closed elementary school into a community center/workforce training center and incubator.

Gardens United, the urban agriculture enterprise, currently includes gardens in Pisgah View and Hillcrest Housing Developments. GO is working with growers to develop organizational structures and a business plan for year-round food production. Food grown will be sold through a variety of outlets and distributed to residents of the community. Additional land will be cultivated at the W.C. Reid Center once renovations are complete. Building on GO’s Kitchen Ready culinary training program, the Community Kitchen prepares healthy meals from fresh, local produce. Sandwiches, wraps and healthy snacks are made from scratch and are affordable to residents living in food deserts. The third food-related social enterprise includes a venue for selling and distributing fresh, affordable food. Feasibility studies are currently being conducted with local partners. The store will sell produce from the gardens and meals from the kitchen in addition to a variety of affordable groceries.

The social enterprises will create at least 34 full-time jobs for mostly low-income people along the French Broad River and improve access to fresh, affordable, and nutritious foods. You can find more information here

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

Self-Help Federal Credit Union

Self-Help Federal Credit Union is a certified CDFI that creates and protects ownership and economic opportunity for all, especially people of color, rural residents, and low-wealth families and communities. Self-Help is using HFFI financing to support its Healthy Foods System Lending Initiative, which will provide essential growth capital to improve the health and quality of life in low-wealth communities, particularly those in North Carolina. Self-Help’s healthy food lending history dates back to 1988 when we made a series of small loans that helped to establish a community-based cooperative grocer. We aim to support the entire food system and seek out borrowers that are committed to protecting the environment and creating quality jobs. Self-Help’s affiliates have provided 34 loans totaling more than $9 million within the healthy foods sector, reaching food co-ops, local grocers, distributors, and sustainable producers. Self-Help also plays a role as a non-profit real estate developer and property manager. In this capacity, the organization just completed a facility for a startup food cooperative in Durham, North Carolina and is breaking ground on a similar co-op project in Greensboro, NC. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program

State & Local Policy Efforts

North Carolina Healthy Food Small Retailer Program

Since 2013, the North Carolina Alliance for Health and its members and partners have advocated for the creation of a statewide Healthy Corner Store Initiative. Members and partners include the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, North Carolina Alliance of YMCA’s, MomsRising, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, North Carolina Conservation Network, Youth Empowered Solutions, Self-Help Credit Union, North Carolina Dietetic Association, The Food Trust, and many more. The state budget passed in 2016 included $250,000 to pilot the initiative, formally known as the Healthy Food Small Retailer Program. The 2017 state budget included an additional $250,000 in funding. The program is housed in the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

For more information visit www.ncallianceforhealth.org/healthy-corner-store-initiative or email info@ncallianceforhealth.org.

The North Carolina Alliance for Health and partners continue to advocate for recurring funds for the program. 

The North Carolina Healthy Food Small Retailer Program is now accepting applications for the 2018 RFA Cycle through March 30, 2018, with priority consideration for applications submitted by January 31, 2018. Visit the North Carolina page on the Find Money & Policy Efforts by State tool for more information about this funding opportunity. 

Background and Advocacy: North Carolina Alliance for Health

In the spring of 2013, in response to food access issues in her own district, Representative Yvonne Holley (D-Wake) introduced House Bill 957, Food Desert Zones, raising the level of awareness of food access issues with the Speaker of the House and other majority party lawmakers. This bill resulted in the House Committee on Food Desert Zones, which held four meetings between January and April 2014. Throughout the winter and early spring, the North Carolina Alliance for Health and partners worked extensively with the chairs of the Committee, Representatives Edgar Starnes (R-Caldwell) and Chris Whitmire (R- Henderson, Polk, Transylvania), who later became a primary sponsor of HB 250, to develop agendas for the committee meetings. The House Study Committee on Food Desert Zones issued recommendations during its final meeting in April 2014.

On March 17, 2015, HB 250, Healthy Food Small Retailer/Corner Store Act and companion bill SB 296 were filed. The primary sponsors of HB 250 were Representative Yvonne Holley (D-Wake), Chris Whitmire (R-Henderson, Polk, Transylvania), Brian Brown (R-Pitt), and Donny Lambeth (R-Forsyth). The primary sponsors of HB 296 were Senators Don Davis (D-Greene, Lenoir, Pitt, Wayne) and Louis Pate (R-Lenoir, Pitt, Wayne). On June 18, 2015, HB 250 passed the full House by a vote of 82-32 and $1 million was included in the House’s version of the budget. Neither HB 250 nor SB 296 were considered by the Senate that year. However, on July 1, 2016, the NC General Assembly passed budget adjustments, which included $250,000 for the creation of a statewide Healthy Corner Store Initiative. On June 28, 2017, the General Assembly passed a new budget, which also included $250,000 for the program.

For a full understanding of Healthy Food Financing Initiatives from advocacy to implementation, see The Food Trust’s Healthy Food Financing Handbook.

To find examples of other federal, state, and local policy efforts and initiatives -- as well as financing opportunities -- by going to Find Money & Policy Efforts by State.