The Capacity Building Initiative will help the CDFI Fund achieve its mission by
ensuring CDFIs have the capacity to meet the needs in their communities.
Too many Americans live in food deserts with limited or no access to healthy foods.
As a result, their communities have increased rates of obesity, diabetes, and other
public health challenges.
CDFIs are at the forefront of efforts to bring greater access to healthy foods in
low-income communities. The Financing Healthy Food Options track helps build the
capacity of CDFIs engaged in healthy foods finance. Provided by Opportunity Finance
Network (OFN), this track includes training workshops, informational resources,
and individual technical assistance.
Components of the series include:
Training: From June 2011 through June 2012, eight, free, two-day
healthy food financing workshops will be offered in locations across the United
States. Participants will learn a framework for evaluating healthy food projects
within the context of the food system, estimate feasibility using data driven models,
and learn the importance of convening community partners. Trainers with practical
experience and expertise will lead participants to drill down into the specific
fundraising, underwriting, and loan management skills required for successful healthy
food projects. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to interact with
practitioners who have succeeded in financing healthy food options.
Individual Technical Assistance: CDFIs that have completed the
workshop training are eligible to apply for up to 40 hours of individual technical
assistance from OFNís subject-matter experts.
Resources: The following free resources will be made available
through the Capacity Building Website to workshop attendees and non-attendees, including:
- National Demand for Healthy Food Options Report: A robust, in-depth study of areas
with low access to healthy foods in low income communities across the country.
- Financial Resources Catalog: Primary public and private sources of financing available
to CDFIs to finance healthy foods initiatives.
- Implementation Handbook: A handbook that showcases best practices and case studies
in successful healthy food financing.
Eligibility for the Training Workshops
Training workshops are available to certified and emerging CDFIs. Two people per
CDFI may attend the training workshops. Depending on space considerations, there
may be limited availability for other CDFI partners to attend as well.
Each of the eight sessions will include seven hours of training on the following
content: food systems, convening community stakeholders, panel discussion with local
experts, data driven program design, accessing financial resources, and planning
next steps for training participants.
Additionally, each session will include five hours of in-depth training relating
to a specific topic:
- Two sessions will cover Farms & Food Production topics, including farms,
ranches, fisheries, and new types of farms
- Two sessions will cover Mid-Food Chain Enterprises content, such as value-added
production, food aggregation, food processing, food distribution, and waste management
- Two sessions will cover Food Retailers like grocery stores, co-ops, institutions,
public markets, farmerís markets, community supported agriculture, and mobile vendors
No training workshops are currently scheduled for this series. Please see the Technical
Assistance Webinars link for dates on upcoming webinars and the Resource Bank for
past training and reference materials about this topic.
Technical Assistance Webinars: Free technical assistance webinars on a variety
of Financing Healthy Food Options topics are available for workshop attendees and
non-attendees. A current list of the upcoming webinars, as well as registration
information, is available here.