​​
​​​
January 2016
In this Issue:
 
JoAnn, employee of Farmers Fresh Market
CO4F METRICS

AS OF DECEMBER 30, 2015

  

 

Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund (CO4F) improves access to healthy food in underserved Colorado communities by financing grocery stores and other
forms of healthy food retail.

 

PARTNERS

 
 
 
 
 

 

CO4F: Year in Review
 
From the eastern plains to western and southern Colorado, and along the central and northern urban corridor, CO4F established its statewide foothold in 2015. A total of 13 grocery retailers received CO4F support last year, ultimately improving fresh food access in their communities. These projects were funded with $1,076,000 in loans and grants, which leveraged more than $7 million in traditional financing.
 
In 2015, CO4F played a key role in reopening grocery stores that had closed in towns on the eastern plains such as Akron and Limon. CO4F also supported its first brand new store built in Ignacio (read more about this project below in "CO4F Supports Farmers Fresh Market from the Ground Up"). Furthermore, CO4F's successes in 2015 were marked by funding innovative concepts, and supporting an estimated 100+ jobs.
 
While CO4F is making progress to reduce food deserts in Colorado, the need remains strong. In the year ahead, CO4F will continue support underserved communities in their efforts to increase access to fresh, healthy food.  
CO4F Supports Farmers Fresh Market from Ground Up
 
Farmers Fresh Market, a brand new grocery store in Ignacio, celebrated its grand opening on October 3. When Ignacio's only grocery store closed in 2014, two local families, the Lees and the McClanahans, sought support from CO4F to help bring fresh food back to their community.
 
"Being longtime area residents and business owners, we knew how important this new store would be to our town. The CO4F financing helped bring Farmers Fresh Market to life, and it's gratifying to provide our shoppers with a variety of fresh food options," said store General Manager, Amos Lee.
 
Farmers Fresh Market was awarded a $408,000 CO4F loan, which supported the store build, and is the first CO4F project in western Colorado. The CO4F loan was used to provide part of the construction financing, in partnership with Vectra Bank of Colorado's Durango office, and to provide permanent financing.
Town administration emphasized the important role the store plays not only as a fresh grocery retail resource, but as a foundation for positive social impact.
 
"The new Farmers Fresh Market helps promote the social interaction that creates strong, dynamic communities. The town and its residents have survived the last year without a market place. Now we are very proud and excited for our new jewel in the center of town," said Dan Naiman, Town of Ignacio Community Development Director.
 
Farmers Fresh Market is a 22,000 square foot grocery store offering fresh produce, meat, seafood, dairy, and baked goods. The grocer supports more than 40 jobs.
Partner Spotlight: The Colorado Health Foundation
 
Chris Smith
The Colorado Health Foundation is the third largest health-focused foundation in the United States, with $2.4 billion in assets. Health coverage, health care, and healthy living are the organization's three areas of concentration, with a vision to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation.
 
CO4F was developed as a result of several partners convening on ways to improve access to fresh food, and the Colorado Health Foundation's role was critical. In the program's early stages, it was identified that lack of capital for grocers was a key issue that must be addressed. The Foundation became a founding CO4F partner by investing $7.1 million in seed funding to launch the program, helping food retailers access capital to improve healthy food access in their communities.
 
"Healthy food is such an important part of an individual's health. Knowing that many people in the state simply do not have access to fresh, healthy food caused the Colorado Health Foundation to get involved and help address this issue.  Being a CO4F partner is critical to our core mission," said Chris Smith, Colorado Health Foundation Senior Program Officer.
 
Part of the Colorado Health Foundation's mission is to encourage healthy lifestyle choices. Smith explains how food deserts affect choices in both rural and urban communities.
 
"You make your purchasing decisions based on what's available in your community, and if there aren't options, traveling to other towns becomes a hardship on many, and really affects the economics of small, rural areas. In urban neighborhoods, easy access to unhealthy options becomes the obstacle. Each locale has its own challenges-it's ultimately the same problem but it manifests differently," he said.
 
In addition to CO4F, the Colorado Health Foundation funds other programs that promote healthy communities. The Healthy K-12 School Meals through Scratch Cooking program supports school districts that are transitioning from processed school meals to healthy meals cooked from scratch. The Foundation also funds Healthy Places, an initiative that aims to increase physical activity by supporting built environments that are safer, easier, and more appealing to engage in physical activities. 
Customers Display CO4F Decals
"Proudly supported by CO4F" decals were recently mailed to CO4F borrowers and grantees, inviting them to display at their places of business. Recipients were also invited to take photos of their decals and send to CO4F partners for social media promotion. Thanks to our first participant, Perk Odell of LB Holdings, Inc., for placing and taking photos of CO4F decals at Odell's Super's in Akron. 

Erin Lyng, P.U.M.A.
720.519.0535, CO4F@pumaworldhq.com
 
Tim Dolan, CHFA
303.297.7318, tdolan@chfainfo.com
 
CHFA, 1981 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202