WEBINAR- Voices for Healthy Kids Initiative


Advocacy efforts to improve access to healthy food at the local, state, and federal level have led to the creation of financing programs to support healthy food retail in underserved communities nationwide.

One key effort, Voices for Healthy Kids Initiative, led by the American Heart Association and The Food Trust, is advocating for state-wide policies to promote healthy food financing and corner store programs in key states across the country. This webinar will provide an overview of the Voices for Healthy Kids Initiative and discuss how advocates and community leaders can tap into resources to support state-level healthy food access efforts. Experts will discuss key successes from the field and share best practices.

Profile: Desert Rain Food Service, Tohono O'odham Nation


For the Tohono O'odham Tribe in southwestern and central Arizona, food is the foundation of health, culture, community, family, and economies. Since 1996, the grassroots community organization Tohono O’odham Community Action (TOCA) has been dedicated to improving the health, cultural vitality, sustainability, and economic revitalization for the Tohono O’odham Nation.

This fall, thanks to TOCA’s new school food enterprise, Desert Rain Food Services, 700 children on the Tohono O'odham Nation will be served healthier school food sourced from local farmers. TOCA received a $300,000 Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) grant to pilot a school food service enterprise that supports healthier eating and a strong indigenous food economy.

AB 2060 Workforce Bill Signed Into Law

California has one of the largest and most expensive prison systems in the nation and is currently under a federal court order to reduce its prison population. System and community leaders across the state have recognized the urgent need to lower the numbers of current prisoners and the rate of recidivism, in order to decrease state prison costs and increase public safety. 

Earlier this week, Governor Jerry Brown helped California take a major step toward achieving these goals by signing AB 2060 (Supervised Population Workforce Training Grant Program) into law. Authored by Assemblymember Victor Manuel Pérez and co-sponsored by PolicyLink, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, and the California Workforce Association, AB 2060 will establish a new competitive workforce training grant program for women and men re-entering our communities and families after being released from prison, to ensure that they have access to training and education, job readiness skills, and job placement assistance. The bill was also identified as a priority by the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color.

Law enforcement officials and judges agree that opportunity-enhancing strategies are less expensive than incarceration and more effective at reducing recidivism and improving community safety and stability. Investing in workforce development opportunities for reentry populations is a critical step toward expanding access to well-paying jobs and careers, which in turn will improve offender outcomes and reduce recidivism rates, resulting in economic savings and improved public safety.

The program established by AB 2060 is designed to serve the distinct education and training needs of individuals who require basic education and training in order to obtain entry level jobs with opportunities for career advancement, and also individuals with some postsecondary education who can benefit from services that result in certifications and placement on a middle-skill career ladder.

Administered by the California Workforce Investment Board, the new grant program will build on the most promising workforce development strategies and incentivize counties to foster collaboration and coordination with Local Workforce Investment Boards (LWIBs), the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, community-based organizations that serve re-entry populations, labor, and industry. Regional coordination also advances realignment goals, which shift some of the responsibility for housing prisoners from the state to the local level.

An allocation of $1 million from the Governor’s Recidivism Reduction Fund was secured to launch this effort through the budget process earlier this year. AB 2060 will leverage the State’s investment by rewarding counties that commit matching funds. This translates into additional dollars for the program and will help to sustain the strategy over time, ensuring that more women and men can be served.

We must work at the regional and state levels to ensure that every Californian has a fair chance to contribute and thrive. By investing in workforce training and job placement for the women and men re-entering our families and communities, we can improve neighborhood safety and stability and secure a more prosperous future. 

Economic and Community Development Outcomes of Healthy Food Retail


Illustrates the connection between improved healthy food access and resulting economic and community development, encouraging readers to include assessment of economic outcomes in their healthy food access research agenda, and provides evidence to support decision makers in advancing healthy food policies.

WEBINAR-Healthy Food Access & Healthcare


With so many people, especially low-income people, affected by diet-related health conditions, building a connection between healthy foods and the doctor's office may be one of the most effective ways to improve health outcomes.

WEBINAR-Growing and Funding Equitable Food Hubs


 Learn how you can develop an equitable food hub in your own community.  This webinar highlights how food hub operations are creating a more equitable and inclusive food system and discuss lessons learned and strategies for success.

Profile: Mandela MarketPlace


Mandela MarketPlace grew out of grassroots community organizing efforts to shift resource dynamics, giving residents access to healthy food retail and neighborhood development funding. Incorporated in 2004, Mandela MarketPlace is a nonprofit organization that currently works in partnership with local farmers, local residents, and community-based businesses to build health, wealth, and assets through cooperative food enterprises.

Read this in-depth case study and accompanying photo essay for more information. 

Farmer's Market & Philly Food Bucks Report (2013)


The eight Get Healthy Philly (GHP) markets—opened between 2010 and 2011 in partnership with the Department of Public Health—and The Food Trust’s other farmers’ markets continue to grow along various measures of success: SNAP sales, Philly Food Bucks redemptions, customer and farmer survey data, WIC and Senior FMNP sales, customer counts, and number of operating market days. This report summarizes and evaluates the impact, reach and key lessons learned from the 2013 farmers’ market season and the fourth season of the Philly Food Bucks program.

Understanding the Role of Community Development Finance in Improving Access to Healthy Food


Describes the role CDFIs play in financing healthy food retail and identifies how public health practitioners can partner with CDFIs to expand access to fresh, healthy food. CDFIs offer an alternative to conventional lending for financing supermarkets and other small businesses. The flexibility they provide in financing projects can help retailers offset the higher cost of opening stores in underserved areas.

Healthier Corner Stores


Corner stores—often thought of as a source of unhealthy foods—can be key partners in the effort to improve access to healthy, affordable foods. In Philadelphia alone, a network of 660 corner stores committed to healthy change has introduced 25,000 healthier products to store shelves, making it easier for families in lower-income communities to eat a healthy diet.