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Neighborhood Revitalization Through Food Systems Finance

Food can be a powerful tool for revitalization, in terms of both economic growth and improvements to the built environment. Many food-related enterprises are small businesses that keep dollars local and create jobs. Restaurants, farmers’ markets, food halls, food trucks, and urban agriculture energize public space and encourage social interaction. Restoring food markets and preserving other historic structures serves the purposes of food systems infrastructure. Celebrating local food culture can draw visitors from near and far, while also improving economic and social conditions for residents. This installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series will illustrate the many positive impacts that result from financing food systems at a neighborhood scale, with speakers to showcase the versatility of projects and financing approaches.


The CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series is a free, exclusive online series connecting businesses and projects within the food system to development finance tools, such as bonds, tax increment finance, tax credits, revolving loan funds, and more, to create equitable local and regional food systems. This series will showcase how development finance agencies from across the country are investing in local food systems. Development finance agencies will present case studies of projects – from farmers’ markets, food processors, farmers, restaurants, food hubs, and more – explaining how the financing tool works and why that financing tool was chosen for each project. Each installment of this series will explore how the development finance toolbox can be used to generate investment for different focus areas, such as disaster relief, neighborhood redevelopment, entrepreneurs, and more. This year’s webinars include:

§ Disaster Recovery for the Food System – April 16, 2020
§ The Landscape of Food Systems Finance – May 28, 2020
§ Neighborhood Revitalization Through Food Systems Finance – July 30, 2020
§ Financing Food Systems Entrepreneurs – September 29, 2020

With funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, CDFA is researching how development finance agencies can become more engaged in developing localized food systems through traditional finance approaches. The premise of this project is to suggest and then prove that, if organized and defined properly, the food system can become a defined asset class worthy of traditional investment. Through this work, CDFA aims to advance opportunities and leverage existing capital financing streams that scale local and regional food systems and increase access to better food while creating new living wage jobs in communities across the country.

>>> Learn more about CDFA’s initiative to define the food system asset class

Webinars will be recorded and available online afterward. Attendees who register for the webinar receive an email with the recordings as well.