CO4F Mission and Key Goals
Enables the purchase and consumption of fresh food products by ensuring affordability and offering educational programming related to harvesting, cooking, and/or eating.
Enables the economic mobility and well-being of diverse populations who have historically been denied access to education, property, and wealth.
Fill Gaps in the Food System
Advances a regional food system for local farmers, sustainable practices, traditional cultivation, and humane harvesting practices.
The Food Justice movement envisions a food system that is inclusive, community-led and participatory, without the exploitation of people, land, or the environment. It identifies and acts to remove the significant structural inequities that exist within our food and economic systems.
— Portland/Multnomah Food Policy Council
In 2022, CO4F program guidelines were updated to incorporate a greater focus on addressing the structural inequities throughout Colorado’s food system and to allow for a wider range of eligible projects including:
- grocery stores and other traditional food retail models,
- mobile markets,
- aggregation and distribution centers,
- healthy prepared foods, and
- charitable food system partners.
After your preapplication is received, a representative from CO4F partner, P.U.M.A., will schedule a call to learn more about your project and guide you through the process.
Please reach out to [email protected] with any questions.
- Must operate and provide services in Colorado
- Must expand access to food and meals: minimally processed staples (cereals, starches, legumes), meat, dairy, fresh produce, etc.
- Must serve a majority of customers in “high need and low access areas” including, but not limited to USDA-defined food deserts, areas with high poverty rates, environmental justice communities, and rural areas.
May include one or more of the following elements and are not limited to the following:
- Grocery Stores
- Corner and convenience stores
- Food cooperatives
- Farmers markets
- Mobile markets
- Aggregation and distribution (e.g., food hubs, food delivery)
- Healthy prepared food
- Charitable food system (pantry, no-cost grocery)
- Land acquisition
- Construction of rehabilitation of real estate
- Interior tenant improvements
- Equipment reimbursements of predevelopment costs (professional fees, market studies appraisals, deposits on land and building, and other holding costs
- Working capital (inventory, wages, operating costs)
- Amount may not exceed 50 percent of total loan amount. Loans providing working capital must meet CO4F collateral requirements.
- managing the program mechanics, reporting requirements, and relationships with all program partners, and
- processing larger loan requests ($150,000 and higher) and all grant requests for the program.
- conducting statewide outreach to develop a pipeline,
- engaging with vulnerable populations and connecting nontraditional applicants with resources, and
- ensuring that applicants meet program eligibility requirements and referring them to funders.
- Contact P.U.M.A. at [email protected] to schedule a call to share information about your project and get answers to your questions.
- Fill out a preapplication and attach any business documents or relevant plans.
- Wait two to three weeks for P.U.M.A. to determine if your project meets basic eligibility requirements and meets at least one of the criteria within “community impacts.”
- If you are eligible, you will be referred to CHFA or CEF and invited to fill out a full application.
- Final approval is determined by the CO4F Loan Committee.
- The length of time depends on a number of factors, but on average, the full process may take several months.
What is Food Justice?
“The Food Justice movement envisions a food system that is inclusive, community-led and participatory, without the exploitation of people, land, or the environment. It identifies and acts to remove the significant structural inequities that exist within our food and economic systems.”*
- Ensures that the benefits and risks of where, what, and how food is grown, harvested, distributed, accessed, and eaten are shared ethically and fairly
- Led by people most impacted by health disparities
- Sees food as a human right, not a commodity**
Food insecurity and diet-related illnesses are correlated with poverty and have disproportionately impacted communities of color.***
- Nationally, the rate of food insecurity for Black and African American households is more than double that of White households.
- One in five Hispanic/Latino households are food insecure—compared to one in ten White households.
- Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke are higher among communities of color.
*Source: Portland/Multnomah Food Policy Council
**Source: Oregon Tilth Center, “Food Justice Definitions”
***Source: FoodPrint®, “Food Justice”