For over one million California residents, access to fresh produce is more than a 20-minute drive from their homes. Neighborhoods like these, with little or no access to healthy foods, are known as food deserts.
Residents living in food deserts have higher rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and many other chronic illnesses than those in neighborhoods where healthy food is easily accessible. Bringing permanent sources of fresh foods such as supermarkets into food desert communities can significantly improve healthy food access for residents for the long-term.
Kaiser Permanente is proud to be a founding member of the California FreshWorks Fund, a unique public-private partnership loan fund created to bring greater access to healthy foods in underserved communities, spur economic development that supports healthy communities, and inspire innovation in healthy food retailing.
The California Endowment (TCE) developed the California FreshWorks Fund concept and provided significant financial support to the Fund. It is modeled after the successful Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative and is intended to align with the National Healthy Food Financing Initiative. Fund partners include. California FreshWorks Fund partners include the California Endowment, Kaiser Permanente, United Grocers, California Grocers Association, PolicyLink, Community Health Councils, CRA/LA, NCB Capital Impact, NCB, FSB, Emerging Markets, Inc., Calvert Foundation, Catholic Healthcare West, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, US Bank and Bank of America.