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The Equitable Food Oriented Development Collaborative: CCL’s new Lending Partner!

Community Credit Lab is excited to announce our newest Lending Partnership with the Equitable Food Oriented Development Collaborative (EFOD).

Authors: Ryan Glasgo, Chief Operations Officer, Sandhya Nakhasi, Co-CEO

This post was originally published by Community Credit Lab, which is now part of Common Future.

The Equitable Food Oriented Development Collaborative (EFOD) is a multiracial coalition of community food systems practitioners and leaders driving food-oriented development to create economic opportunities, healthy communities, and build community assets, pride, and power by and with historically marginalized communities. Through its leadership and partnership with community-based practitioners, the EFOD Collaborative has identified specific gaps in access to non-extractive capital and community-rooted technical assistance to support and catalyze emerging or growing food based projects that are owned by and benefit working-class communities of color. This deep understanding of the gaps faced led to the design of the EFOD Fund and specifically the partnership with Community Credit Lab to support the design and pilot of its regenerative lending activities.

“It’s important for organizations to build alliances across this work and to not compete for funding – but to find ways to collaborate and build off of each other’s strengths and not be siloed in our work.”

Haleh Zandi, Planting Justice cofounder and EFOD Steering Committee member

The EFOD Collaborative Lending Program EFOD and CCL are launching the EFOD Collaborative Lending Program to support community-led, justice-first food-based projects engaged in revenue-generating projects across the United States. The goal of the program is to provide an equitable and affordable financing model that centers the needs and vision of community food justice work.

EFOD’s process is designed to build relationships with aligned organizations searching for capital to catalyze their food-based projects by providing community-rooted technical support and pairing this alongside capital to build trust and provide projects with a community of supportive peer practitioners. Loans provided through this program will be evaluated collectively by the EFOD Collaborative’s Community Investment Committee of community practitioners and will reach organizations looking for capital up to $100K with patient terms of up to 7-years to ensure partners have ample time to strategize, initiate, and respond to the emerging needs of their project. The Lending Program does not charge borrowers any fees or penalties and relies on trusting partnership and reciprocity with borrowers. Most importantly, loan terms are designed to be flexible – in service of the needs and opportunities of borrowers – to effectively establish projects and make real progress toward the transformational impact of the organizations’ work.

The Lending Program will be critical in addressing funding gaps faced by community-led projects that are models for more equitable, non-extractive, and sustainable ways to increase access to fresh, culturally-appropriate foods in disinvested neighborhoods and increase long-term community health through asset-building and ownership of food enterprises.

By leveraging the expertise of community practitioners, deploying capital with terms set in relationship with practitioners, and pairing investments with culturally-relevant, practitioner-led technical assistance, this partnership between CCL and EFOD models new systems of finance that support the long-term success and impact of community-led projects.

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