Thursday, January 28, 2010

Did you see who's sitting with Michelle Obama?


It was our friend Jeff Brown, owner of Brown's ShopRite in Pennsylvania. Jeff's store in Southwest Philadelphia was the first supermarket funded by the successful Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative -- and his work revitalizing that neighborhood earned him this special invite.

About the video: In many inner-city neighborhoods, residents who want and need affordable, healthy food all too often come up short. Their options may be limited to corner stores, where it is far easier to buy potato chips and candy bars than to purchase fresh fruits or vegetables. The Food Trust is attempting to provide inducement for supermarkets to open in sections of town that they once had abandoned.

Along with our partners The Reinvestment Fund and The Food Trust, PolicyLink has spent the past year working with policymakers and advocates to push for a smart, sustainable way to invest in healthy food and good jobs in underserved communities.

The White House and both aisles of Congress have been supportive of the idea of a National Fresh Food Financing Initiative. And it's nice to see one of the most promising successes of this model program recognized on such a big stage.

Getting the attention is great -- but moving this innovative strategy toward reality would be far better.

With 27 million Americans without access to fresh, affordable food – and poor and minority communities getting the worst of the problem – a national effort to expand and build grocery stores, farmers markets, and other healthy food retail in needy communities could be just the kind of bi-partisan, triple-bottom-line solution we need.

Get involved on the ground floor. Tell Congress to support the National Fresh Food Financing Initiative and help bring healthy food and economic vitality to communities in desperate need of both.

Good ideas need more than recognition. They need the funding to make a real difference in the everyday lives of millions of Americans.


A National Fresh Food Financing Initiative:
An Innovative Approach to Improve Health and Spark Economic Development