State & Local Policy Efforts

Policy Efforts to Watch: Healthy Food Florida Campaign

Advocates are working in Florida to ensure that all residents have access to healthy food and that communities are able to thrive with more grocery stores, healthier corner stores, and economic investment. Led by the American Heart Association, this campaign, called Healthy Food Florida, joins forces with volunteers and groups on the ground, including community, business, and faith-based groups, to advocate for the importance of healthy communities. In April 2016, Governor Scott signed HB 0153, which created an initial healthy food financing program to support grocery stores in underserved communities. This legislation included an appropriation of $500,000 and is being administered by the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. Advocates continue to explore opportunities for a more robust HFFI program, as well as a statewide healthy corner store initiative.

Federal Policy Efforts

Carrfour Supportive Housing, Inc. is using HFFI financing to increase production capacity at Verde Gardens in Miami-Dade County, Florida in partnership with Earth Learning. The Farm Enterprise at Verde Gardens is a 22-acre organic farm and nursery in a 5,000-square-foot building that houses a commercial kitchen, a farmers market, and a food processing facility. This project is expected to create 27 new, full-time jobs for low-income individuals and improve access to fresh, healthy, and nutritious foods through its mobile market and food distribution components. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa, Inc. is using HFFI financing to make an equity investment to construct and co-own a 25,000-square-foot shopping plaza. This plaza would create 60 new jobs, with at least 25 of them full-time, which will also employ primarily low-income residents of the nearby community, including TANF recipients, non-custodial parents, and the chronically unemployed and underemployed. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

As a state-wide Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Florida Community Loan Fund (FCLF) provides flexible financing for projects expanding access to fresh, healthy foods in low-income, underserved, food insecure communities through their Food Access Financing program. FCLF is currently working with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Food, Nutrition, and Wellness to implement this program, through HFFI funding received in 2015. You can find more information about FCLF’s Food Access Financing here, along with downloadable fact sheets here.

Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program

Neighbors and Neighbors Association (NANA), Inc. is using HFFI financing to sponsor the Redland Market Village (RMV) Expansion project in Naranja, Florida. The RMV is a retail center and farmers market, totaling 19,800 square feet. Thus far, the expansion has created 42 jobs, many of which are targeted to low-income individuals. The project expands food retail outlets at the farmers market and the existing Redland Market, with the purpose of building small businesses and expanding access to healthy food in Miami-Dade County, Florida. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

Northwest Jacksonville Community Development Corporation (NJCDC) will use HFFI financing to invest in the development of North Point Two Grocery store in Jacksonville, Florida. The neighborhood in Jacksonville this project is located is a designated food desert that lacks access to fresh, healthy food due to economic challenges, lack of transportation to grocery stores, and the absence of grocery stores in the community. The site will house 16,500 square feet of retail operations – the grocery store will be the anchor tenant. The supermarket will include a full a deli, a produce area with a specific emphasis on locally grown and organic fruits and vegetables, and prepared meals, and will also conduct community workshops and cooking demonstrations to aid residents in making healthy food choices. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program