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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
Want to learn how food deserts are being addressed across Colorado? Subscribe to CO4FQuarterly News to stay informed about the Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund (CO4F). Read how food retailers are utilizing CO4F to increase access to healthy food, as well as industry news and policy issues impacting fresh food access.

Resources

  • CO4F Resource Guide: Provides prospective grocers and healthy food retailers with an array of tools and general information for starting and growing a successful business.
  • Digital Food Systems Hub: Designed to be the go-to resource for food environment data, mapping and reporting.
    How to join the Hub
    1. Go to Community Commons.
    2. In the top type right corner, click on 'Register'. Then create a profile. (If you already have an account, just log in.)
    3. Go to the Community Commons Colorado Food Systems Hub.
    4. Step 4. Request membership to the Hub! Your membership should be approved and an introductory email will be sent to you within a day. 
  • Healthy Food Access Portal: Designed to maximize the impact of new opportunities in the healthy food sector and to support communities interested in launching healthy food retail projects.

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