PRESS RELEASE - 05/15/12
Contact: Jeanne Molinari, (703) 647-2316
$125 Million Loan Pool Projected to Generate over 3,000 Jobs and 30 or More Fresh, Healthy Food Outlets in California
New, Flexible, and Alternative Source of Funds for California Grocery Community
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA (May 15, 2012)— Millions of Californians will soon gain better access to fresh, healthy foods closer to home stemming from a new, flexible, and alternative source of funds now available for grocers and other organizations working to expand into low access markets throughout the state. A project of The California Endowment, the California FreshWorks Fund (FreshWorks) added
$125 million in capital to help make store expansion and new forms
of distribution possible by providing access to alternative financing options, and incentives to invest in projects located in low supermarket access areas.
“It is inexcusable that it is easier to find liquor and cigarettes in many communities than it is to find a bottle of water and an apple, said Robert K. Ross, M.D., president and CEO of The California Endowment. “The California FreshWorks fund aims to change that so that all families have access to healthy, nutritious food. I commend all the partners for stepping up to make this a reality.”
Perhaps the most fascinating piece of the FreshWorks announcement is the groundbreaking coalition of grocers, major banks, health care entities, research experts and other partners that came together to solve a problem. For this loan pool, the 10 organizations that collaborated are:
The California Endowment,
NCB Capital Impact,
agent bank Chase,
Bank of America,
Charles Schwab Bank,
Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West),
Morgan Stanley, and
Opportunity Finance Network.
“Jobs created by this initiative are critical to the economic health of our communities, and the improved access to fresh, healthy foods is equally important to the health outcomes for the people living in these communities,” commented Scott Sporte, Chief Lending Officer at NCB Capital Impact. “The leadership and dedication from each and every FreshWorks partner will make it possible to create over 3000 jobs, and 30 or more new outlets,” Sporte added.
California FreshWorks Fund partners include: The California Endowment, NCB Capital Impact, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citibank, California Grocers Association, Calvert Foundation, Charles Schwab Bank, Community Health Councils, Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles, Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West), Emerging Markets, Kaiser Permanente, Met Life, Morgan Stanley, NCB, Opportunity Finance Network, PolicyLink, Social Compact, Unified Grocers, and U.S. Bank. www.CAFreshWorks.com
About NCB Capital Impact
NCB Capital Impact helps people and communities reach their highest potential at every stage of life. As a national, non-profit community development financial institution, Capital Impact provides financial services and technical assistance to help make high-quality housing, health care, healthy foods, and education more accessible and attainable, and eldercare more dignified and respectful. Capital Impact has used its depth of experience, cooperative approach, and diverse network of alliances to generate over $1.7 billion in critical investments that create a high quality of life for low income people and communities. www.ncbcapitalimpact.org.
About The California Endowment
The California Endowment is a private, statewide health foundation, which was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. Headquartered in downtown Los Angeles. The Endowment has regional offices in Sacramento, Oakland, Fresno and San Diego, with program staff working throughout the state. The Endowment challenges the conventional wisdom that medical settings and individual choices are solely responsible for people's health. The Endowment believes that health happens in neighborhoods, schools, and with prevention. For more information, visit The Endowment’s homepage at www.calendow.org