In 2004, the Food Trust in Philadelphia, PA, in partnership with The Reinvestment Fund and the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, identified a strong need for government investment to finance supermarkets, grocery stores, and other healthy food retailers in underserved communities. This led to the first statewide fresh food financing initiative.

The Philadelphia Legislature allocated $10 million in its annual appropriations in 2004, with additional funds allocated in 2005 and 2006, to establish a grant and loan program to encourage supermarket development in underserved areas. The Reinvestment Fund leveraged the investment to create a $120 million initiative composed of state dollars, federal tax credit dollars, and private investments. To date, the initiative has provided $63.3 million in grants and loans for healthy retail projects, resulting in the creation of and improvements to 68 stores that offer fresh foods. These projects have generated 3,734 jobs and 1.44 million square feet of floor space.[1] It is now seen as a model and is being replicated in other US communities.


[1] Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative. Providing Healthy Food Choices to Pennsylvania's Communities. Accessed on May 1, 2009.

For more information, visit:

From: A Time of Opportunity: Local Solutions to Reduce Inequities in Health and Safety