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. Our financial products include auto, personal, and home loans; checking and savings accounts; and commercial lending to businesses, community development projects, and non-profit organizations.  SHFCU has the advantage of drawing on the collective capacity of the full Self-Help organization, a family of affiliates that has three decades of experience in delivering $7.5 billion in financing to more than 134,000 families, individuals, businesses, and organizations nationwide.

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.
Self-Help Federal Credit Union 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 in North Carolina and other states.
Projects & Impacts

  • A $2,470,000 loan to provide construction-to-permanent financing for the expansion of an established healthy foods co-op in rural (small town) Western North Carolina. The co-op will now have a total square footage of 12,800. The co-op also received further funding from several sources for this expansion - $300,000 loan from NCIF, $450,000 loan from NCDF and a $50,000 loan from Mountain BizWorks. Not part of an urban planning strategy.
  • A $371,600 loan to an urban startup grocery store and café that are focused on local sourcing and community involvement in a Southwest Los Angeles food desert. The loan leveraged $371,600 with partner lender the National Cooperative Bank. Total square footage of the project is 3,000. Not part of an urban planning strategy.
  • A $268,000 loan to allow a woman-owned business to purchase the necessary equipment and make renovations to help teach healthy cooking to the community, including low wealth and low-income families. This 1,045 square foot project is located in an urbanized area (small town) in Central North Carolina. The loan is not part of an urban planning strategy and didn’t leverage outside funds.

Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program; Fiscal year(s): 2013, 2015