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J Public Health Manag Pract. 2008 May-Jun;14(3):272-9. doi: 10.1097/

Closing the grocery gap in underserved communities: the creation of the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative.

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  • 1The Food Trust, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103, USA.


The issue of access to healthy foods has been central to the work of many community-based organizations around the country. One such organization, The Food Trust, launched an effective advocacy campaign to bring awareness and policy change to the issue. The Food Trust's efforts with its partners resulted in the creation of the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative, the nation's first statewide financing program to increase supermarket development in underserved areas. This article focuses on a key component of the advocacy campaign: the creation of an evidence-based report that served as a strong, credible foundation for the campaign. The steps that were taken to find partners, obtain and analyze the data, and disseminate the findings are described. In addition, the outcomes of the Fresh Food Financing Initiative are discussed.

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