Fresh Food Retailer Initiative
The City of New Orleans’ Fresh Food Retailer Initiative (FFRI) program increases 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 provides 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, a nationally recognized nonprofit, strives to improve access to healthy, affordable food. For over 20 years, the organization has worked with neighborhoods, schools, grocers, farmers and policymakers to develop a comprehensive approach to improving the health of America’s children. The Food Trust was a key partner in the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative, a program that funded 88 grocery stores and improved access for nearly half a million Pennsylvania residents. Following the success in Pennsylvania, the agency now works with partners in several states and at the national level on healthy food financing initiatives.
Applications and more information on the program are available on the HOPE website.