Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund Gains Financial Momentum
DENVER, CO — The Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund (CO4F), a public-private partnership fund designed to increase access to fresh food in Colorado’s underserved communities, has received additional funding from Kaiser Permanente: $1 million, The Piton Foundation: $1 million and The Colorado Trust: $300,000. This fund offers a customizable loan-fund structure to better meet the needs of Colorado.
Launched in 2013 with $7.1 million in seed funding from the Colorado Health Foundation, CO4F makes 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 was developed in response to recommendations from the Denver Food Access Task Force. CO4F aims to remove financial barriers from the construction, expansion and renovation of grocery stores in underserved areas and is designed 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 better food access
- Partner with local governments when possible to enhance the benefits and success
- Develop a Colorado model based upon national best practices
“When individuals and families are struggling financially, it’s often tough to put healthy food on the table. We know that can lead to serious health concerns such as diabetes and obesity," said Jandel Allen-Davis, MD, vice president of government and external relations for Kaiser Permanente Colorado. "Kaiser Permanente is proud to support this program as a way to increase access to affordable, nutritious foods for all Coloradans."
"We are excited to be working with longtime partners to increase healthy food options in neighborhoods most in need. We see this as an important element of our work to create a better future for Colorado’s children,” said David Younggren, president of The Piton Foundation.
"We know that good health depends on more than health care. It is affected by where we live, the education we receive, the work we do, the wages we earn and by our access to healthy food," Ned Calonge, MD, president and CEO of The Colorado Trust. "Supporting the Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund allows us to partner with communities to increase opportunities for all Coloradans to be healthy."
The CO4F recently named the Policy Advisory Board members and Cameron Bertron, senior vice president, development services, EnviroFinance Group, assumed his new role as chair. Joining the Board:
Cody Belzley, vice president of health initiatives, Colorado Children’s Campaign
Mary Lou Chapman, president and CEO, Rocky Mountain Food Industry Association
Christy Culp, south central Colorado regional manager, Colorado Department of Local Affairs
Rob Gary, principal, Gary Community Investment Company
Corina Lindley, community health specialist, Kaiser Permanente
Lisa Montagu, director of health and education, The Piton Foundation
Laurel Petralia, program officer, The Colorado Trust
Andrew Ritz, controller, the Colorado Health Foundation
Steven Wright, shareholder, Polsinelli PC
The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) serves as the fund administrator and manages the allocation of grants and loans. Progressive Urban Management Associates (P.U.M.A.) provides technical assistance and helps market the fund.
About the Colorado Health Foundation
The Colorado Health Foundation is singularly focused on helping Coloradans live their healthiest lives by advancing opportunities to pursue good health and achieve health equity through grantmaking, policy and advocacy, strategic private investments and convening to drive change. For more information, please visit www.coloradohealth.org.