Fresh Food Retailers Initiative
The City of New Orleans’ Fresh Food Retailers Initiative (FFRI) program will increase access to fresh foods in traditionally underserved neighborhoods in the City in addition to providing quality employment opportunities and serving as a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization. The program will provide direct financial assistance to retail businesses by awarding forgivable and/or low-interest loans to supermarkets, grocery stores, and other fresh food retailers. The City has provided $7,000,000 in Disaster Community Development Block Grant funds toward the program, which will be matched 1:1 by the City’s partner, Hope Enterprise Corporation (HOPE).
The City has partnered with HOPE and The Food Trust to implement this program.
HOPE is dedicated to strengthening communities, building assets and improving lives in economically distressed areas of the Mid South by providing access to high-quality financial products and related services. HOPE sponsors Hope Credit Union, which is a low-income designated, credit union that converts federally-insured deposits into financial services for low-wealth communities. Since 1994, HOPE has generated over $1.4 billion in financing for entrepreneurs, homebuyers and community development projects and directly benefitted more than 75,000 individuals.
The Food Trust works to ensure that every child and family has equal access to affordable and nutritious food. The Food Trust’s goals are to increase the availability of fresh foods, develop a stable food supply in underserved communities, and improve the connection between urban and agricultural communities. The Food Trust co-manages the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative and has developed substantial experience and expertise in providing program outreach and technical assistance. To date the program has committed $85.1 million in grants and loans to 88 grocery projects throughout Pennsylvania.
Applications and more information on the program are available at the HOPE website.