October 2015 In this Issue:
Pictured (left to right): Troy McCue, Executive Director of Lincoln County Economic Development Corporation; Steve Johnson, CHFA's Director of Community Development; Trey Ford, Owner of Limon Stop & Shop Supermarket; Julie Coonts, Mayor of Limon.




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.





Limon Grocery Store Celebrates Improvements Made with CO4F Grant
Limon Stop & Shop Supermarket
In the summer of 2014, the Limon community faced losing its only grocery store. At the time, the store was under different ownership, and was full of empty shelves.Tony and Trey Ford stepped in and purchased the grocery store. In doing so, they preserved fresh food access for the community and the health of its local economy. 

"Tony and Trey Ford and Limon Stop & Shop have created a first class grocery store that continues to expand its options and respond to local citizens' needs," said Limon Mayor Julie Coonts. "The partnership of the Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund, First National Bank of Hugo-Limon, the State of Colorado, combined with the financial commitment of the Ford family, saved the grocery store. For that, our citizens are thankful."

Upon purchasing the store in the summer of 2014, the Fords were faced with needing to make many equipment repairs. The freezer units were also outdated and unreliable. To assist, the Fords were awarded a $100,000 CO4F grant to upgrade the freezer units. The upgrades have increased product selection and reduced energy costs, allowing the store to continue to offer competitive pricing to shoppers.

"CO4F enabled us to update a piece of the Limon store to greatly benefit both the store and our customers. Because we already had to invest significant resources into bringing the previously neglected store into good condition, these updates would not have been possible for many years without the CO4F grant," said Trey Ford. "We are so thankful for the grant. The upgrades were needed years ago, so customers really appreciate them."

Having a quality, full-service grocery store with modern features is vital to the Town of Limon as the nearest source of fresh food is in Hugo, a 30-mile round trip away. During the past year since Limon Stop & Shop Supermarket has been serving residents, surrounding businesses have noticed a positive effect on the area. 

On August 29th, Trey Ford partnered with CHFA and the Colorado Health Foundation to celebrate the success of Limon Stop & Shop Supermarket by holding a news conference and open house.
Partner Spotlight: Progressive Urban Management Associates
Erica Heller
Progressive Urban Management Associates (P.U.M.A.) is a Colorado consulting firm working to advance community development across Colorado and nationwide. P.U.M.A. conducts outreach and market research for CO4F, and provides technical assistance to CO4F applicants.

"Our focus is on downtowns and other districts that are trying to create "live, work, play" environments. Over the years, we found that grocery retail is a key component to creating that complete environment, and therefore, working as a partner to CO4F has fit well with P.U.M.A.'s objectives," said Erica Heller, P.U.M.A. vice president.

Headquartered in Colorado since 1993, P.U.M.A. has produced economic development strategies, strategic organizational plans, and other community development plans and projects for more than 200 clients. The firm's network of community development contacts is a valuable asset to CO4F. P.U.M.A. helps identify areas where food access is limited, and how CO4F can help address local needs.

"Grocery retail is at the heart of community building. In addition to improving food access and economic conditions, a local grocery retail resource provides social advantages such as equity and a sense of belonging among residents. That is important to what P.U.M.A. values as an organization," said Heller. 

P.U.M.A. is encouraged by CO4F's results, especially in terms of project diversity. "Almost half of all CO4F projects have been outside of the Denver metro area, so we are achieving statewide reach. Also, CO4F has supported the various types of projects it is intended for such as a brand new store build, new stores in existing properties, store retention, store expansion, and innovative food retail models," said Heller.

As a leader in progressing communities, P.U.M.A. looks forward to continued successes of CO4F, and its ability to impact even more individuals living in underserved areas.
Industry Resource: Healthy Food
Access Portal
The Healthy Food Access Portal, launched in 2013, is designed to maximize the impact of new opportunities in the healthy food sector and to support communities interested in launching healthy food retail projects. The online Portal offers the latest information on funding, news and events, policy efforts, educational webinars, project profiles and announcements.

PolicyLink, The Food Trust and the Reinvestment Fund developed the Portal as part of a larger campaign to raise public awareness and education policy makers about the limited and inequitable access to food retail across America. This resource channels a vast array of data and information to support the successful planning and implementation of policies, programs and projects to improve access to healthy foods in low-income and communities of color. The Portal is designed to help people access resources related to healthy food access policy efforts, funding opportunities, and successful retail strategies.

To access the Healthy Food Access Portal, visit www.healthyfoodaccess.org.

Below is more information about the partners behind the Healthy Food Access Portal.
  • PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity by Lifting Up What Works.
  • The Food Trust is a nonprofit founded in 1992 to make healthy food available to all by working with neighborhoods, schools, grocers, farmers, and policymakers to develop a comprehensive approach that combines nutrition education and greater availability of affordable, healthy food.
  • The Reinvestment Fund, a community development financial institution (CDFI), is a national leader in the financing of neighborhood revitalization. Beginning with the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative in 2004, TRF has taken a comprehensive approach to improving access to healthy, fresh food in low-income communities through the innovative use of capital and information. In 2014, TRF launched the Refresh Initiative to share our expertise and pursue opportunities to improve access to healthy foods nationally in partnership with other CDFIs.

Erin Lyng, P.U.M.A.
720.519.0535, CO4F@pumaworldhq.com
Tim Dolan, CHFA
303.297.7318, tdolan@chfainfo.com