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Foundation in Action: Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund

Overview
Goals
History and partners
Additional information

Overview
Seeded with a $7.1 million investment from the Colorado Health Foundation, the Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund (CO4F) will enable food retailers to provide fresh, healthy food in underserved Colorado communities. A public-private partnership fund, CO4F will make financing available for grocers that offer affordable and nutritious foods in areas where such goods are scarce.

The statewide fund is the first of its kind in Colorado and aims to remove financial barriers from the construction, expansion and renovation of grocery stores in underserved areas.

Goals
CO4F will be modeled after successful, national programs aligned with PDF Icon Transparent The Food Trust's Healthy Food Financing Initiative. The goal of CO4F is to:

  • Improve retail access to fresh and healthy foods in Colorado
  • Encourage economic development in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods
  • Provide attainable financing to food retail outlets that will promote more and better food access
  • Partner with local governments when possible to enhance the benefits and success
  • Develop a Colorado model based upon national best practices

History and partners
In fall of 2011, the Denver Food Access Task Force released icon_pdf.gif "Healthy Food for All: Encouraging Grocery Investment in Colorado," which outlined policy recommendations to improve access to affordable, healthy food and stimulate economic development in Denver and throughout Colorado.

Using those recommendations as a blueprint, a CO4F working group explored ways to remove barriers that prevent Colorado's underserved population from obtaining healthy food. The working group was chaired by Cameron Bertron of EFG Brownfield Partners. Other representatives were from the Foundation, CHFA, the Denver Department of Environmental Health, the Denver Office of Economic Development, the Colorado Enterprise Fund, the Mile High Community Loan Fund and the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union.

Additional information
For questions about the Colorado Fresh Food Financing fund, please contact Erica Heller or call 303.628.5592.