Fare & Square, a 16,000-square-foot supermarket, is the culmination of numerous attempts to attract a full-service grocery store to Chester, Pennsylvania. The store is located in an area where over 70 percent of residents live in a food desert according to data from the USDA Economic Research Service. Reinvestment Fund and Nonprofit Finance Fund partnered to help finance Fare & Square, which is the nation’s first grocery store run by a food bank. The opening of Fare & Square created 69 full- and part-time jobs, which are filled primarily by Chester community residents. Fare & Square opened in September 2013.
HFFI funds were used to renovate an existing building to build Fare & Square, operated by local food bank Philabundance. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program provided a $750,000 grant, which required a one-to-one match, to jumpstart the project. Philabundance tapped into its fundraising prowess and secured matching grants from individual donors and multiple private foundations. The Nonprofit Facilities Fund (NFF) and Reinvestment Fund, both community development financial institutions (CDFIs), provided New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) to finance the project. The NMTC investor is TD Bank. In addition, NFF and Reinvestment Fund provided loans to bridge the payment of various funding commitments to the project. The federal Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) was the source of capital for Reinvestment Fund’s bridge loan.
Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program