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Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative

Resources Required

Staff:

  • Initiating a program will require two FTE staff to lay the groundwork for the campaign, contact stakeholders, organize and support the task force efforts.  

  • When a fund is established, the program will require one staff person with financial expertise to manage funding and one staff person with expertise in food access to provide outreach, eligibility information and technical assistance.

  • Consultation, as needed, from a public health advocacy organization and a financial intermediary is also suggested.

  • New initiatives should also consider studying the impacts of the program and requiring funded stores to report data on fruit and vegetable accessibility, sales or related metrics, in addition to job creation and square footage of retail space developed.

Materials: Standard meeting materials (nametags, invitations, food etc.) for task force meetings, GIS maps/needs report (cost between $15,000 and $25,000 depending on data acquisition costs).

Costs:  Initially, funds are needed to support the task force process and to educate policymakers about the problem. This includes staff time and materials, program advocacy and development.  Costs vary between $100,000 and $200,000 per location per year and the task force process averages 2.5 years to complete. Funds to support the policy itself can come from multiple sources, including public and private entities. The Pennsylvania General Assembly initially allocated $10 million in funding for each of three years, totaling $30 million. State funds were matched 3:1 by private dollars and leveraged funding included New Market Tax Credits to generate a final $120 million fund.

The Reinvestment Fund (TRF), a non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), manages the supermarket grant and loan fund.  Designation as a CDFI qualifies TRF to receive New Market Tax Credits.  TRF manages the financing needs of supermarket operators that want to locate within an underserved area.