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USDA Partners With Reinvestment Fund to Increase Equitable Access to Healthy Foods Across Country

As Part of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, Funding Will Help 75 Local Organizations Create and Expand Food Financing Programs in Underserved Communities

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., April 17, 2024 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small today announced that USDA is partnering with Reinvestment Fund to help organizations strengthen local food financing programs and improve access to healthy foods in underserved communities across the country. Deputy Secretary Torres Small today is joining Reinvestment Fund and the New Mexico Healthy Food Financing Fund Partnership to make the announcement and host a food access round table at Explora Science Center & Children's Museum in Albuquerque – a food retail location partnership with previous Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) grantee Three Sisters Kitchen.

"No matter where you live across America, you should be able to get affordable, fresh, and healthy food," said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Torres Small. "President Biden and USDA are working to strengthen local and regional food systems so affordable locally grown foods are available closer to home. USDA is proud to partner with Reinvestment Fund so even more people can find good food options anywhere they live, all while supporting local farmers and ranchers."

Through funding made available primarily by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, Reinvestment Fund has selected 16 public-private partnerships to receive $40.3 million in grants under the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Local & Regional Healthy Food Financing Partnerships Program to expand access to nutritious and affordable foods in 20 states and Washington, D.C.

This program provides financing to local, state and regional organizations that partner together to provide financing and technical assistance to food retailers in underserved communities. Funding for this program is made possible by the 2023 expansion of HFFI, which created the HFFI Partnerships Program to bring in new partners that can address food access for even more underserved communities than before.

This announcement is part of USDA’s comprehensive set of efforts, bolstered by funding made available through the American Rescue Plan Act, to create more and better markets that benefit both producers and American consumers. HFFI is designed to support new and expanded markets for a diversity of growers while helping people access healthy foods.

The 16 partnerships being announced today represent 75 local organizations across the country. They will create or expand food financing programs and increase access to healthy food for people living in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.

For example:

  • The New Mexico Healthy Food Financing Fund Partnership will use funding to conduct new market studies to collect and analyze information that highlights strengths and weaknesses within the New Mexico food ecosystem. The partnership will use this data to support the creation of programs that improve the sustainability and resiliency in New Mexico’s healthy food distribution channels.
  • The Appalachian FoodWorks Partnership will use funding to offer grants, loans, and technical support to help underserved communities enhance food access, supply chain resilience, and economic development through established retailers, startups, and food enterprises across West Virginia and bordering counties in Central Appalachia.
  • The Atlanta Food Access Investment Initiative will use funding to conduct a food retail gap analysis, research city-level policies that impact food access, and deliver technical assistance to food retailers seeking to invest in food desert communities in Atlanta. The partnership will also offer loans and grants to food retailers owned by and serving Black, Indigenous, and people of color.
  • The Pacific Northwest Resilient Food Systems Partnership will use funding to provide planning, operations and credit services to build resilient regional food systems that improve healthy food access for underserved communities in Southeast Alaska, Washington and Oregon.

A full description of the partner organizations, their respective missions, and the communities they serve is available online.


Many low-income communities lack adequate, affordable access to healthy food. HFFI provides grants and loans to entities that offer healthy foods in communities that are underserved by grocery stores and other food retailers. The program increases access to healthy foods, provides new market opportunities for farmers and ranchers, stabilizes small and independent retailers, and creates good-paying jobs and economic opportunity in low-income communities.

Through the HFFI, USDA partners with Reinvestment Fund to bring healthy food options to underserved rural, urban and Tribal communities. Reinvestment Fund serves as the National Fund Manager for USDA. It raises capital; provides financial and technical assistance to regional, state and local partnerships; and helps fund projects to improve access to fresh, healthy foods in underserved areas.

In August 2023, Reinvestment Fund expanded America’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative to include the new HFFI Local and Regional Healthy Food Financing Partnerships Program.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. Visit the Rural Data Gateway to learn how and where these investments are impacting rural America. To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit the GovDelivery Subscriber Page.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit


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