Hope Federal Credit Union
Hope Enterprise Corporation (HOPE) is a community development financial institution that provides affordable financial services and leverages private, public and philanthropic resources to fulfill its mission of strengthening communities, building assets, and improving lives in economically distressed parts of the Deep South.
Since 1994, HOPE has generated over $2 billion in financing and related services for the unbanked and under banked, entrepreneurs, homeowners, nonprofit organizations, health care providers and other community development purposes. Collectively, these projects have benefited more than 1 million individuals throughout Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
Given the Mid South’s historic lack of grocery stores in small towns and cities and the decline in grocery stores in low-income and urban areas, HOPE has provided over $42 million in financing for healthy food retail projects.
HFFI Projects and Projected Impacts
Jackson Cash and Carry, Jackson, MS, urban
- $220,000 leveraged; $1.47MM used for equipment and renovations.
- 50,992 sq. ft.
Up In Farms, Jackson, MS Urban
- $1,375,560 funds leveraged; $2.477MM used for construction, equipment, and inventory
- 16,229 sq. ft.
TSJ- Shoppers Value Store- Pascagoula, MS Urban area grocery
- $2,357,025 leveraged; $3.357MM used for build out and equipment
- 447,892 sq. ft.
Source of money: HFFI CDFI; Fiscal years 2014, 2015, 2017
Fiscal year 2014, $3MM, Fiscal year 2015, $2.5MM, Fiscal year 2017, $1.5MM
State & Local Policy Efforts
Mid South Healthy Food Initiative
Administered by Hope Enterprise Corporation in partnership with The Food Trust, the Mid South Healthy Food Financing Initiative is a regional healthy food financing program that offers offers flexible financing for new store development and renovations, as well as training with retailers to promote healthier choices projects across three states in the Mid South region. The initiative started in New Orleans but has grown to support grocery projects in urban areas across Mississippi, Louisiana and the greater Memphis area. The program was developed through the support of $3 million in initial seed funding from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, which was leveraged further by the national Healthy Food Financing Initiative. For more information about the program, visit the program website here.
Mississippi Small Business and Grocer Investment Act
In 2012 the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, the National Grocers Association, and The Food Trust convened the Mississippi Grocery Access Task Force, comprising local community, economic, and public health leaders. The group addressed how residents in underserved communities can better access healthy food and generated policy recommendations to support supermarkets and other fresh food retail across the state.
On the heels of the work of the Grocery Access Task Force, the Mississippi state legislature passed MS HB 1328, the Small Business and Grocer Investment Act, to create a grant and loan program to increase access to fresh and healthy food in underserved communities. Though advocates continue to seek funding for the program, there is a growing interest and commitment to economic development in communities underserved by grocery stores and other healthy food retail, along with the creation of expanded opportunities for American farmers.
- Learn more about the report which helped establish the task force: Food For Every Child: The Need For More Supermarkets in Mississippi.
- Learn more about the policy recommendations generated by the task force: Stimulating Grocery Retail Development in Mississippi: A report of the Mississippi Grocery Access Task Force.
For a full understanding of Healthy Food Financing Initiatives from advocacy to implementation, see The Food Trust’s Healthy Food Financing Handbook.