Reinvestment Fund, in its capacity as National Fund Manager (NFM) for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative at USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service, requests applications for America’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative Local and Regional Healthy Food Financing Partnerships Program (HFFI Partnerships Program) for 2023.
Donor Name: Reinvestment Fund
State: All States
County: All Counties
Type of Grant: Grant
Size of the Grant:
- Capacity Building Activities: $200,000 – $1,000,000
- Credit Enhancement Activities: $500,000 – $3,000,000
Grant Duration: up to 3 years
The HFFI Local and Regional Healthy Food Financing Partnerships Program (HFFI Partnerships Program) is a new grant program under the expanded America’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative.
This new program will expand the impact of the HFFI program nationally and bring in new partners to address the complexity of food access in communities across America. Through support of local and regional Partnerships, this program will build capacity for local groups serving the needs of their communities and deepen the reach of HFFI into underserved communities.
The HFFI Partnerships Program offers financial assistance to eligible Partnerships for two types of activities. Applicants may apply for either or both capacity building activities and credit enhancement activities.
Capacity Building activities will allow a new or existing Partnership to research, plan, or implement an FFP to provide more funding and technical assistance to Food Retail and Food Enterprise projects.
Credit Enhancement activities will allow Qualified Lenders in the Partnership to increase the deployment of financial assistance to Food Retail and Food Enterprise projects in Underserved Areas.
Priority will be given to Partnerships that:
- Will serve communities and regions that have been underserved by HFFI (USDA, CDFI Fund/US Treasury, or state/local) investment
- Will serve Rural Areas
- Will serve women-owned businesses
- Will serve Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned businesses
- Will support regional food systems and locally grown foods
- Include or involve diverse participants representing the relevant demographics (race, income, ethnicity, gender, etc.), sectors, geographies, and communities being served by the Partnership
- Provide funding and technical assistance to projects that create or retain quality jobs for low-income residents in the community
- Grant awards will be made on the merit of the Partnership and proposed activities, with budget line-item eligibility considered only after the merits of the proposal have been determined. Reinvestment Fund reserves the right to negotiate final budgets, including disallowing ineligible costs, with successful applicants.
- Up to $30,000,000 is available for grants for the 2023 HFFI Partnerships Program: up to $10,000,000 for Capacity Building activities and up to $20,000,000 for Credit Enhancement activities.
- Grant awards may be from $200,000 – $1,000,000 for Capacity Building activities and $500,000 – $3,000,000 for Credit Enhancement activities.
Eligible Partnerships may apply for one or both types of activities as part of their grant application. Total grant award amounts (capacity building and credit enhancement activities combined) may be up to $3,000,000 total per award.
- They expect to make 10-20 grant awards under the HFFI Partnerships Program in 2023. Any funds not awarded under this RFA will be applied to the RFA for the next HFFI Partnerships Program competitive award cycle or another HFFI Program. Depending on funding availability, they expect to offer a future funding round for the HFFI Partnerships Program no sooner than two years after this RFA.
- Grant Awards funding only Capacity Building activities may have a Grant Period up to 3 years. Grant Awards Funding Credit Enhancement activities, either solely or with Capacity Building activities, will be expected to deploy all funding to Eligible Projects within 3-5 years. The Grant Period will extend beyond the deployment period to include the time needed for servicing of applicable financing activity.
What They Will Fund?
- The HFFI Partnerships Program will provide grant awards to eligible Partnerships that are working to improve access to fresh, healthy food in underserved communities through providing technical and financial assistance to Food Retail and Food Enterprise businesses. The Partnership can be a new or existing collaboration between organizations that is creating, expanding, or implementing a local, state, or regional FFP. Grant funding may be used to increase the capacity of current partnerships to go deeper in their current communities or expand to new communities. It may also be used to assist the development or launch of a new Partnership and FFP in an underserved area where an FFP and/or program or resources have not previously existed. Grant funding may be used to increase the ability of existing partnerships to provide financial assistance to Eligible Projects in their current communities or expand to new communities.
- HFFI Partnerships program funds should be used by eligible Partnerships to further the goals of the HFFI program in their own community.
- Capacity Building activities should support the creation or further development of a new, or increase the capacity of an existing, FFP to provide more funding and technical assistance to Food Retail and Food Enterprise projects. Credit Enhancement activities should allow Qualified Lenders in the partnership to increase the deployment of financial assistance to Food Retail and Food Enterprise projects in Underserved Areas
- Proposed Capacity Building activities by Partnerships could include (but are not limited to):
- Personnel, fringe, and/or contractual expenses to administer the program
- Surveying local communities to identify food access gaps/challenges and assets
- Analyzing data to identify food access gaps and underserved areas, and develop financial products (e.g., loans, grants, tax credits) to serve Food Retail and Food Enterprises in Underserved Areas
- Seeking additional partners for the initiative
- Identifying a local lender to provide financial assistance through a loan fund
- Supporting projects that are applying for assistance through HFFI or other healthy food retail loan or grant programs
- Partnerships are eligible to apply to the HFFI Partnerships Program.
- Partnerships include any meaningful collaboration between two or more entities. One of the partners must be a public entity such as a local, state, or tribal government, authority, or agency, among others. The other partner(s) may be entities such as nonprofit organizations, private businesses, foundations and funders’ collaboratives, community development financial institutions, credit unions, community development organizations, food policy councils, food systems and food access organizations, among others.
- Partnerships must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Organized to improve access to healthy foods.
- Expand or preserve the availability of staple and perishable foods by maintaining or increasing the numbers of retail outlets in underserved and low or moderate-income areas.
- Demonstrate ability to provide grants, loans, or technical assistance (TA) to eligible projects, now or in the future, as a result of HFFI Partnerships Program capacity building grant support and evaluate progress.
- Engage local partners from across sectors in promoting or delivering healthy food financial and technical resources.
- Demonstrate ability to leverage Federal HFFI resources locally.
- A Partnership is an agreement between at least two Eligible Entities, one of which must be a public entity, that meets the criteria above. The agreement may be in the form of any official documentation such as a contract or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The partnership may also include other partners not listed as Eligible Entities.
- Eligible Entities (at least one of the Partners must be a public entity):
- State, regional, and local governments and governmental agencies, authorities, commissions, and councils (Public entity)
- Tribal governments and tribal governmental agencies, authorities, and councils (Public entity)
- Public universities or hospitals (Public entity)
- Tax-exempt nonprofit corporations
- Qualified lenders such as Community Development Financial Institutions, Credit Unions, or Community Banks
- Cooperatively-owned businesses
- For-profit business enterprises (including a corporation, limited liability company, or public benefit corporation)
- Economic development corporations.
For more information, visit Reinvestment Fund.