Reinvestment Fund and Health Department Announce $500,000 in Funding for Food Justice | Department of Public Health

PHILADELPHIA – Reinvestment Fund joins the Philadelphia Department of Public Health in announcing $556,280 in Philadelphia Food Justice Initiative (PFJI) grant awards to nine local Philadelphia organizations to create a more just food system. In total, the Initiative has provided over $1.99 million in grants to 27 grantees since its launch in 2019.

PFJI provides funding to innovative, community-led projects that strengthen Philadelphia’s food assets and opportunities for individual and collective action to further food justice. The initiative is informed by health justice, the collective movement to heal society and remove barriers to individual and community well-being. PFJI is a partnership of Reinvestment Fund and the Health Department’s Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention. Additional support comes from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Wells Fargo Open for Business Fund.

“Every community in Philadelphia experiencing food injustices has members envisioning strategies to right those wrongs,” said Mica Root, Program Manager for Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Health Department. “The Health Department is excited to partner with these nine grantees toward a Philadelphia where all residents have dignified and easy access to nourishment and looks forward to continued opportunities to support innovative food justice projects.”

“The Philadelphia Food Justice Initiative is a unique grant program that provides funding that honors food justice work led by those most affected by structural inequity”, said Molly Hartman, Senior Program Director at Reinvestment Fund. “We are proud to continue our longtime commitment to local and national funding partnerships for equitable food systems.”

PFJI prioritizes projects led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, immigrants and people living with disabilities, and those with lived experience with health injustice. To date, PFJI has awarded grants to 27 organizations, of which 25 are Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) owned or led and 18 are owned or led by women.

“The Philadelphia Food Justice Initiative plays a critical role in community health and improving the lives of individuals and families in the city,” said Jenny Flores, Head of Small Business Growth Philanthropy at Wells Fargo. “As the Bank of Doing, Wells Fargo is proud to collaborate with the Reinvestment Fund to tackle deep societal challenges, like food injustice and insecurity, while supporting BIPOC and women led small businesses and community-based organizations that are rooted in community and have firsthand experience of health injustice.”

“Through our Healthier Together Initiative, CHOP is committed to improving the health of children, families, and communities by partnering with community groups and agencies to build a better tomorrow for our children,” said Vanesa Karamanian, MD, MPH; Program Director of Healthier Together Initiative, CHOP.  “We are proud to be part of this transformative effort to empower communities to exercise their right to grow, sell and eat healthy food while helping improve the Philadelphia food ecosystem.”

Nine projects were awarded PFJI grants to create a more just food system in Philadelphia in 2023. The grant award amounts in this round ranged from $18,000 to $95,000. All of the grantees serve their communities and are led by those who have experienced health injustice. This round’s grantees include Youth Empowerment for Advancement Hangout (YEAH), who will be launching a brick and mortar YEAH Philly Community Market to provide no-cost, healthy food options for its neighbors staffed by teens and young adults, on site in West Philadelphia and by delivery. Also awarded is Iglesias Garden, who will create programming and events at the Cocina sin Fronteras, an open-air community kitchen within the garden.

“This funding from the Philadelphia Food Justice Initiative is a true testament to real investment in communities that need it most,” said Kendra Van de Water, LSW, Executive Director of YEAH Philly.  “Not only will the YEAH Philly community market be a place where our neighbors can get free and healthy groceries with good customer service and no barriers, but the market will also train and employ 12 to 15 teens and young adults on a permanent and year-round basis. We’re excited to continue to prove that investment in people creates better and safer places to live and to uphold a culture where teens and young adults are empowered to be true leaders in their own communities.”

A full list of grantees is available at the Reinvestment Fund’s website.


About Reinvestment Fund
Reinvestment Fund is a mission-driven financial institution committed to making communities work for all people. We bring financial and analytical tools to partnerships to ensure that people in communities across the country have the opportunities they strive for affordable places to live, access to nutritious food and health care, schools where their children can flourish, and strong local businesses that support jobs. We use data to understand markets and how transactions can have the most powerful impact, consistently earning us the top Aeris rating of AAA for financial strength and four stars for impact management. Our asset and risk management systems have also earned us an A+ rating from S&P. Since our inception in 1985, Reinvestment Fund has provided over $2.7 billion in financing to strengthen neighborhoods, scale social enterprises, and build resilient communities. Learn more at For press inquiries, reach Tiffany Patterson, Managing Director of Strategic Communications at:

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