The latest perspectives, news, success stories and resources from around the organization.
Across the country, 17.3 million rural U.S. residents lack equitable access to supermarkets. Reinvestment Fund’s new Rural Food Access Investment Area (RFAIA) analysis, uses 2012-2106 Census data to determine 11.3 million underserved rural residents live in areas that could support new or expanded food retail options. Despite the need for improved access to fresh and healthy foods in rural areas, many analyses of food access—and many investments to improve food access—have focused on urban areas.
Despite gains over the past decade, limited access to healthy food continues to affect urban and rural communities across the United States. Financing the construction of new supermarkets and the expansion of existing stores is one of the primary strategies to increase access to sources of healthy food in underserved communities. Reinvestment Fund’s Limited Supermarket Access (LSA) analysis is a tool to help investors and policymakers identify areas across the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia that have both inadequate and inequitable access to healthy food and sufficient market demand for new or expanded food retail operations.
Since 2014, Reinvestment Fund has been working with cities and organizations around the country to accelerate the creation of new healthy food options in underserved communities. This partnership, called ReFresh (https://www.reinvestment.com/initiatives/refresh/), has led to the creation of new data tools and market reports designed to help communities target healthy food investments.
The goal of Reinvestment Fund’s ReFresh initiative is to increase the capacity of the community development financial institution (CDFI) industry to fund healthy food projects by creating tools and resources, offering technical assistance, and helping peer organizations learn together. ReFresh has been an important partner as Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF), headquartered in Denver, Colorado, has grown its portfolio of healthy food lending. In 2016, Reinvestment Fund and CEF collaborated to take a closer look at some of the ways that ReFresh has helped CEF grow its food lending capacity.
In 2016, Reinvestment Fund conducted the Supply Chain Matrix (SCM) analysis for the red meat industry in New England. Reinvestment Fund originally developed the Supply Chain Matrix (SCM) in 2013 to better understand the food production system and identify opportunities at multiple stages in the food supply chain to promote access to healthy, sustainable food.
Across the country, food banks are looking at their mission through a number of new lenses: health, education and technical assistance, farming, economic and workforce development, business enterprise, and community empowerment and advocacy. Feeding the Line, Or Ending the Line? Innovations among Food Banks in the United States, a new report by Reinvestment Fund and Bank of America looks at how food banks are adopting a variety of approaches within each of these categories to feed the hungry and permanently end food insecurity.
A summary overview of Reinvestment Fund’s 2014 analysis of Limited Supermarket Access (LSA). The analysis offers a look at the national landscape of access to healthy food as of 2014 and changes in the underserved population since 2005. The analysis is part of Reinvestment Fund’s extensive efforts to address the inadequate and inequitable access to healthy foods in communities across the country.
In Maryland, limited access to nutritious food is a statewide issue that affects both urban neighborhoods and rural communities. In low- and moderate-income communities in particular, the absence of supermarkets results in limited access to healthy food options. The following are results from a study by The Reinvestment Fund aimed at understanding the inequity of access in Maryland and providing a framework for the State as it works to address the issue.
This report examines programs that aim to influence individual food choices, provides context to understand the related issues and presents a summary of evidence-based strategies that encourage healthy shopping and eating habits in populations for whom the issue of access has been resolved. Through a review of the relevant literature this document summarizes research findings, offers recommendations for further research—with particular focus on intervention strategies within the personal food environment—and highlights programs that, based on the literature, we think have promise. This research was funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation under its Civic Sites initiative.
This report seeks to identify new areas for lending and technical assistance that would have a direct impact on how a local industry sources its products. More specifically, this report provides tables and graphic illustrations of the potential geographic and economic flow of meat products, as they move through the supply chain. The model does not represent the actual flow of products through the supply chain, but rather identifies economic relationships that would minimize the distance that meat travels from farms to processors (at multiple stages) before it is distributed to wholesale and retail outlets.