A decade after Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on New Orleans, many of the city’s residents still struggle to find sources of high-quality food.
ASI Federal Credit Union aims to provide an oasis in these “food deserts” through a $3 million revolving loan fund established with grant funds received as a community development financial institution (CDFI).
The $324 million asset credit union in Harahan, La., recently announced its first business partnership, with the New Orleans Food Co-op.
“When we can strengthen the financial health of our communities through partnerships with businesses that are improving residents’ quality of life, it’s a win-win for everybody,” ASI Federal President/ CEO Mignhon Tourné says.
The credit union’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative has already distributed more than $1.5 million in low-interest loans, which support community gardens, farmers’ markets, urban farms, healthy corner- store initiatives, bakeries, and healthy restaurants that emphasise locally sourced or organic foods.
Funds can be used for inventory, equipment, property purchase or renovation, construction, land acquisition, and refinancing business debt.