A portion of investments from the U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation will begin to go towards projects focused on healthy and affordable foods, the organization announced earlier this month.
USBCDC is the nations most active New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC), and this program will begin to allocate investments in rural and urban areas in need of access to fresh, healthy foods and is projected to create jobs as well as stimulate area economies.
Some of the projects include the building of a retail grocery store in Pagedale, MO—the first one in the area in several decades, a supermarket in Philadelphia that created more than 200 jobs in the nation's oldest African-American-owned shopping center and a sustainable fishery in Alaska that supports more than 1,400 fishermen.
The Director of New Markets, Historic and Renewable Energy Tax Credit Investments for USBCDC, Matt Philpott, said, "Access to healthy food is a critical problem for millions of Americans. While we are proud to have a strong record of investing in projects that promote healthy outcomes, we agree that there should be broader effort to invest in businesses that will address this issue. By working with our valued partners across the country and leveraging the United States Department of Agriculture, Health and Human Services and the Department of Treasury's capabilities and resources, we believe we can make great strides to accomplish this collective goal with the NMTC Program."
The USBCDC program to support communities lacking healthy nutrition is aligned with the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), which works to address these issues on a national level.
The USDA in conjunction with Michelle Obama, recently released a map indicating the nation's food deserts—estimating more than 13 million Americans do not have convenient access to fresh, healthy foods. Many of these food deserts afflict low-income neighborhoods and communities.
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Photo: Retail Mania