Innovative Healthy Food Financing Program for Cape Cod Set for Next Week

EASTHAM – The Local Enterprise Assistance Fund (LEAF) and the Community Development Partnership will be hosting an information session about the Massachusetts Food Trust Program next week.

On Tuesday, December 4, healthy food advocates, legislators, state agencies, and business leaders will join together in the Greg Turner Room at the Eastham Library to hold an information session for Cape Cod businesses and organizations to announce the Massachusetts Food Trust Program and the launch of an innovative healthy food financing program.

“The program has both loan and grant capital available for healthy food projects in the state of Massachusetts. The CDP is the local host of the workshops and will be holding these information sessions across the state,” said Director of the Business and Credit Program of the CDP Pam Andersen.

“It’s strictly for the business, the farm, the food producer to help them be able to bring their products to different areas of Massachusetts that are considered ‘food deserts,’ which is an area where people’s income or the accessibility of food is low.”

The session will provide information on available financing tools and resources to launch and expand businesses, create jobs, increase economic opportunities, and stimulate the local economy.

The mission of the MA Food Trust Program is to increase access to healthy, affordable food in low-income urban, suburban, and rural communities with an emphasis on entrepreneurs producing, promoting, and selling healthy food grown, caught, or harvested in Massachusetts.

Established by the legislature in 2014, up to $6 million in capital funding was authorized for the program in 2016. The Baker Administration seeded the program with $1 million in capital funding in 2017.

The MA Food Trust Program will fund healthy food projects that meet local community needs and have a positive social and economic impact loans, grants, and technical assistance will now be available to healthy food retail projects based in low- and moderate-income communities throughout Massachusetts.

“The CDP’s mission is to help people afford to live, work and thrive on the Lower Cape. We do that through a number of ways: through small business projects and through affordable housing projects. So, this would be connecting the local businesses with opportunities for them to grow,” Andersen said.

This information session takes place from 5:00 p.m. through 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Greg Turner Room at the Eastham Library, located at 190 Samoset Road.

This is the only session that has been scheduled to be held on Cape Cod.

By TIM DUNN, CapeCod.com News Center

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