Healthy Food For Ohio Focus of #GivingTuesday

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Finance Fund President and CEO Diana Turoff

Finance Fund President and CEO Diana Turoff

I always look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with friends and family, then launching into the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping. We all know Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but fewer people are aware of #GivingTuesday, November 29th. Launched in 2012, this international movement is fueled by social media and generates philanthropic support for a wide range of causes. Leading technology companies including Mashable, Skype, Cisco, Microsoft, and Sony are behind its founding and continue to shape and strengthen the online movement.

Finance Fund Capital Corporation (FCAP) will participate in #GivingTuesday again this year and is focusing our request around Healthy Food for Ohio (HFFO), a public-private partnership which we launched in March. HFFO has been successful in bringing flexible funding to healthy food retailers opening or expanding operations in underserved communities. To date, the program has leveraged $2 million in state seed capital to $12 million and funded 5 projects in urban and rural communities statewide.

The demand for HFFO funding, however, far exceeds available resources. Nearly 40 healthy food retail projects have applied for HFFO’s flexible funding to date. To help meet the demand, FCAP is seeking additional support for the HFFO program on #GivingTuesday.

Thanks to HFFO funding, grocery retail is now providing fresh fruits and vegetables, meat  and dairy in areas formerly designated as USDA food deserts. We know that access to healthy, affordable food can reduce chronic disease and obesity that often stems from a diet high in fats, starches and sugars. HFFO-funded projects range from food hubs to supermarkets and mobile markets and reflect the diverse range of needs in the urban and rural communities they serve.

Here are a few HFFO-funded project examples:
deli

Prather’s IGA . This family owned and operated supermarket provides USDA Grade A meats, as well as produce, dairy, and a full range of grocery items to the rural West Union community. With HFFO funding, Prather’s is updating their produce department, cold and freezer cases to expand their healthy food selection.

Simon’s Supermarket . Located in USDA-designated urban food desert on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Simon’s brings jobs and much-needed fresh food to an impoverished area. A recent preview event at the construction site attracted about 90 area residents who shared their ideas for needed grocery items, and completed employment applications.

produce

Hattie Larlham . Thanks in part to funding from the HFFO program, a 4,400 sq. ft. fresh food “corner market” is growing out of the Hattie Larlham food processing hub to provide Akron residents with produce, and create new job training opportunities for people with disabilities.

Thank you for being a friend to FCAP and for supporting our efforts to improve the health of children and families through healthy food access. Please give generously on #GivingTuesday or use this link to make your contribution today. 

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