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Impact Story

South Carolina Community Loan Fund

The Healthy Food Financing Initiative

South Carolina Community Loan Fund provides technical assistance and resources to entrepreneurs to find and develop opportunities that improve access to healthy food in rural communities throughout the state.

About the Organization

The mission of South Carolina Community Loan Fund (SCCLF) is to advance equitable access to capital by providing loans, technical assistance and advocacy for affordable housing, healthy food, community facility and community business enterprises. As a Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI), SCCLF pools capital from public and private investments to create a revolving loan fund that finances critically needed community development projects.

About the Grant

This grant was awarded in the spring 2015 funding cycle to build on SCCLF’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative. In addition to providing capital for the revolving loan fund to support healthy food business enterprises, this grant expanded SCCLF’s capacity to provide the Feeding Innovation program to entrepreneurs. All participants leave Feeding Innovation with a completed business plan, a deeper knowledge of the food policy landscape in their community and connections to investors and like-minded business people. Food access continues to be a disparity greatly affecting rural communities and their resulting health outcomes. This eight-week training course encourages local solutions and entrepreneurship to address this disparity.

Why it was Funded

The Foundation understands that more than 80 percent of your health is impacted by factors outside of the health care system, including food access, and 16.4 percent of census tracts in South Carolina are designated as food deserts. This project provides local communities with tools to increase access to healthy food.

To date, the Healthy Food Financing Initiative has impacted nearly 47,000 low-income residents across nine communities in South Carolina.

Project Results

To date, Feeding Innovation has been held in nine rural communities experiencing food access shortages, served 85 entrepreneurs, assisted in the completion of 63 healthy food business plans and affected nearly 47,000 low-income residents of South Carolina.

Ongoing Support

The Foundation’s early support of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative allowed SCCLF to raise additional capital, provide Feeding Innovation throughout the state, and raise the profile of SCCLF’s Healthy Food Financing efforts. 

The Foundation awarded SCCLF an additional grant in 2019 to provide the Feeding Innovation program to more communities, as well as enhance the technical assistance services available for those interested in developing healthy food business in South Carolina.