Developing Financing for More Supermarkets in Underserved Communities

Dates of Project: August 2006 through mid-April 2013

Description: The Food Trust, based in Philadelphia, supported campaigns in 10 states to stimulate the growth of supermarkets in low-income, underserved areas. The states were Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas. The goal was to make healthy foods available and affordable.

To direct its work in these states, The Food Trust developed detailed Geographic Information System (GIS) maps that combined information such as supermarket locations, obesity rates, diet-related deaths, and income levels. “The maps were a tremendous educational tool,” said Brian Lang, the project director. “We used them to educate key stakeholders.”

The Food Trust also held two conferences to assess the economic and public health impact of supermarkets and to explore in-store marketing strategies to encourage healthier eating.

Key Results

  • The Food Trust

    • Opened a wider dialogue among public health agencies, the supermarket industry; and children's advocacy organizations—and government and civic leaders.
    • Supported advocacy campaigns in 10 states; policy victories including establishment of the Illinois Fresh Food Fund.
    • Produced a resource toolkit, The Healthy Food Financing Handbook: From Advocacy to Implementation.

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