December 14, 2016

Fighting Food Deserts with Veteran-Owned Honor Capital

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As many as 30 million people live where they do not have access to affordable and fresh food. This challenge is even greater in many low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, where finding healthy foods can mean paying higher prices or traveling great distances. The result: Living in food deserts is damaging the health and economic security of our most vulnerable community members.

Creating  Something Greater Than Themselves

Enterprise Community Loan Fund (Enterprise) is leveraging a Healthy Food Financing Initiative award from the CDFI Fund to invest in Honor Capital’s efforts to fight food deserts. Honor Capital was formed by five Naval Academy classmates who, after serving overseas, returned home wanting to remain part of something larger than themselves.

Since 2014, they have opened four Save-a-Lot grocery stores across the nation in an effort to improve health and economic outcomes for those living in food deserts. This summer, Enterprise provided a working capital loan to Honor Capital to support the continued growth of its business – and therefore expand the impact it is having.

Creating Jobs & Increasing Access to Healthy Food

In November, Enterprise made another investment to support a new Save-a-Lot grocery store in Wichita, Kansas, where the recent closing of three Walmart stores has reduced access to healthy food in a city with over 44 square miles of food deserts. This new grocery store will expand healthy food access to nearly 1,500 low-income families and seniors and will create 12 new jobs.

Enterprise believes that Honor Capital’s work matters. Greater access to healthy food has been shown to decrease risk for obesity and diet-related diseases such as diabetes.  Communities of color are disproportionately challenged, as counties with higher-than-average percentages of residents of color have fewer healthy food retailers like Save-a-Lot. By partnering with Honor Capital to create more grocery stores, we hope to improve the health of residents and increase economic opportunity in these communities.

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