More than 35,000 Savannahians live in areas without access to healthy food. When people lack access to healthy food, they are at a higher risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Healthy Food Financing Initiatives (HFFI) are a proven strategy in the greater effort to create environments where all children can grow up at a healthy weight. When families live close to places to buy healthy food they are more likely to have better eating habits, reduced obesity, and better health.
Healthy Food Financing benefits our community:
- Increases access to fresh, healthy, and AFFORDABLE food.
- Improves health and well-being of our neighbors that need it most, saving health care costs of underserved families.
- Creates neighborhood jobs in food retail and other community services.
- Helps small business and local entrepreneurs become neighborhood anchors. Food retail can spark complementary retail and services nearby.
- Boosts local tax revenue.
According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 5,000 jobs were created or retained in struggling Philadelphia neighborhoods through the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative. Local residents filled the majority of those jobs
What are HFFIs? HFFI programs are started with public seed funding that is managed by Community Development Financial Institutions such as Savannah’s Small Business Assistance Corporation. HFFIs provide financing that may include lower interest rates, more lenient collateral requirements, or longer terms than conventional credit. HFFI funds are leveraged with other public and private capital invested in healthy food retail.