The California FreshWorks Fund has announced that a coalition of grocers, banks and other entities are collaborating on a $125 million loan pool effort to get more fresh food made available in low-income neighborhoods.
The Sacramento Business Journal reports that the fund will offer grocers access to alternative financing options as well as incentives to invest in projects that bring supermarkets to areas that lack them.
“It is inexcusable that it is easier to find liquor and cigarettes in many communities than it is to find a bottle of water and an apple,” said Robert Ross, president of the California Endowment, in a statement. “The California FreshWorks fund aims to change that so that all families have access to healthy, nutritious food. I commend all the partners for stepping up to make this a reality.”
“Jobs created by this initiative are critical to the economic health of our communities, and the improved access to fresh, healthy foods is equally important to the health outcomes for the people living in these communities,” said Scott Sporte, chief lending officer at NCB Capital Impact, which also is a coalition member. “The leadership and dedication from each and every FreshWorks partner will make it possible to create over 3,000 jobs and 30 or more new outlets.”