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Impact-Led Lending for Food Security in NYC

When it comes to advancing communities of opportunity, equity and well-being, lending is LIIF’s primary engine of impact. We continue to hone our “impact-led lending” approach through investments that are informed by—and explicitly designed to close opportunity gaps in—communities of color, balancing risk to ensure both impact and financial sustainability.

One example of this approach is our recent $6.3 million investment in GrowNYC for a new 60,000-square-foot Food Hub in the Bronx. GrowNYC has operated for 50 years, running a network of farmers markets, community gardens, youth-run farm stands and education programs. Last year, they provided 3 million pounds of free emergency food to communities hit hardest by COVID-19 when 2 million New York City residents reported food insecurity.

The Hub will improve access to fresh, local food for thousands of New York City-area residents by quadrupling its food production, when it opens in Fall 2022. It will also support small- and mid-sized regional farmers through access to the wholesale market at a fair price and offer technical assistance to farmers of color.

“The Food Hub will strengthen our city’s food security for the long-term and serve as a unique model for cities across the country,” said Kirsten Shaw, LIIF’s Director of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regions.

In addition to funding from LIIF, this project received financial support from the city and state of New York, J.P. Morgan Chase, Enterprise Community Partners, Farm Credit East, and other supporters.