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Articles by The Reinvestment Fund

The Reinvestment Fund is a national leader in the financing of neighborhood revitalization. What began in 1985 as a small community development organization working in Greater Philadelphia, has evolved into a progressive, results-oriented, socially responsible community investment group that today works across the Mid-Atlantic region.

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The Obama administration’s initiative to fight food deserts will help, not harm, mom-and-pop stores.Photo: arbyreedGary Nabhan and Kelly Watters are right that it will take a diversity of new and expanded fresh food stores to truly solve the crisis of inadequate access to healthy food in many low-income areas. Small grocery stores, farmers markets, and expanded convenience stores are all part of a comprehensive, sustainable solution to this challenge.

But Nabhan and Watters miss the mark significantly when they assert that the $330 million federal Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) — backed by the Obama administration and a bipartisan coalition in Congress — would attract only “full-service grocery franchises that heap upon our children megatons of empty calories.” That’s the opposite of what’s happening.

HFFI represents the federal government’s first coordinated step — with programs from the departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Agriculture — to promote a wide range of interventions that expand the supply of and demand for nutritious foods, including grocery stores, small retailers... Read more