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Focus Area

Food Systems

The food system is a complex network of interconnected activities and sectors that grow, manufacture, transport, sell, prepare and dispose of food. It encompasses a great variety of enterprises with varying capacities and financing needs. A wide number of people, products, and places contribute to, and are affected by, our food system. The current food system doesn’t work for all communities. Low-income communities and people of color disproportionately experience hunger, lack access to healthy food and work in a food economy that limits their ability to build wealth.

Reinvestment Fund is committed to building a more equitable, sustainable and inclusive food system. Since 2004, Reinvestment Fund has pioneered a comprehensive approach to strengthening food systems to improve access to healthy food and economic opportunity in the food sector for underserved communities. Through a range of programs, we provide grants, loans, and technical assistance resources aiming to support community-driven solutions.

Our Food Systems Values

  • Food Access — We believe all communities should have equitable access to quality, affordable and nutritious food.
  • Food Security — We believe food is a human right and all people should have reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.
  • Inclusive Economy — We believe that entrepreneurs and communities should have equitable access to markets, resources, and capital to participate in a robust, local and sustainable food business.

Our Financing

Our financing supports enterprises that contribute to a balanced and dynamic food system. With over $300 million invested in food projects to date, we finance projects ranging from production and retail to food banks and child nutrition. Reinvestment Fund provides financing for predevelopment, construction, and permanent loans. Financing can be used to build or expand facilities, increase healthy food options, bridge capital gaps and purchase new equipment.

Our Grants and Capacity Building Programs

America’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative

Administered by Reinvestment Fund on behalf of USDA Rural Development, HFFI provides resources to eligible fresh, healthy food retailers and enterprises to overcome the higher costs and initial barriers to entry in underserved areas.

investinginfood.com
Data & Analysis

Reinvestment Fund is committed to understanding the barriers to equitable healthy food access and building a knowledge base that helps inform solutions and target resources. With a dozen studies on topics related to food, including access, financing mechanisms, program design, and food systems, Reinvestment Fund has produced a comprehensive body of research and gained national recognition. We seek opportunities to partner with government, philanthropy, and industry to further collective knowledge about food system opportunities and gaps.

Child Nutrition

Reinvestment Fund offers capital and planning resources that aim to increase access to healthy, nutritious meals for children from vulnerable populations. The programs offer support to federal nutrition program sponsors, sites and meal vendors to expand the availability of fresh and nutritious food to children.

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Philadelphia Food Justice Initiative

A partnership with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, PFJI supports community-driven projects advancing food justice and insuring communities can exercise their right to grow, sell and eat healthy food.

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Field Building

For over a decade, we have worked with policymakers and advocates recommending smart, sustainable ways to invest in food systems and local economies nationwide. Partnering with PolicyLink and The Food Trust, we convene a network of stakeholders to share ideas and best practices to build robust and equitable food systems. Our partnership includes a resource portal, HealthyFoodAccess.org, that synthesizes data and information to support the successful planning and implementation of food systems policies, programs, and projects.

HealthyFoodAccess.org

For more information, contact

 
 
Kristin Dawson
Senior Director, Equitable Food Systems Lending
 
 
Molly Hartman
Senior Program Director for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative

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