Uplift is known and recognized for its innovative approach to solving social problems. Uplift’s primarily focuses on issues that are related the Social Determinants of Health; food access, healthcare access; and jobs access. Uplift has worked nationally in solving some of the largest issues related to SDoH. Uplift consolidated its work into two primary program areas; Workforce Solutions and Philly Food Rescue.
Did You Know?
Uplift has worked with partners in more than 30 states
Delivering entrepreneurial solutions that support underserved communities for the joy of a healthy life.
Be the pioneer and premier provider of resources to communities that will result in a more stable way of
life and allow people to take advantage of greater opportunities.
History of Uplift Solutions
Uplift Solutions was founded in 2009 with one program, but through its original work identified other social deficits that could be addressed within the projects it was developing. Below is a timeline of Uplifts’ founding and growth:
2009 – Uplift solutions is founded by Jeff and Sandy Brown and launches Sustainable Food Systems, its first program area, later renamed, Sustainable Food Solutions. Through Sustainable Food Solutions, Uplift worked closely with local governments, supermarket operators and developers across the country to bring new food assets online.
2013 – Uplift introduced Health Solutions, its health and benefits access program, to bring Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), dietitians, and Community Health Navigators into the communities where it was working. Uplift worked with developers, supermarket operators, and health care professionals to leverage new developments to bring affordable health care into underserved communities.
2014 – Uplift introduced Finance Solutions, its access to capital program, to address the financing gaps of its clients looking to develop food access and health care access projects in underserved communities. Under this program area, Uplift introduced its Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), and Smart Public Incentives Program. Through Finance Solutions, Uplift provided mezzanine financing to its clients, and worked on behalf of its clients to gain access to public incentives to include New Market Tax Credits (NMTC), and Tax Increment Financing (TIF).
2017 – Uplift introduced Workforce Solutions, its workforce training program, developed to provide formerly-incarcerated individuals an opportunity to gain long-term employment through the remediation of social deficits and the development of power skills. Upon completion of the program, participants are placed with one of Uplifts’ employer partners.
2018 – Uplift Solutions introduced Philly Food Rescue, its food recovery program that leverages ride-share technology to bring together a corps of volunteers to pick-up surplus and emergency food and deliver it to those who need it most.
2020 – Uplift Solutions adjusts its strategy to focus primarily on Workforce Solutions and Philly Food Rescue.
Founders Jeff and Sandy Brown
Jeff Brown – Jeff Brown is the founder, President and CEO of Brown’s Super Stores, Inc. He opened his first ShopRite in 1988, which has since developed into the 12-store supermarket business that he operates today throughout the Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey region. Each of the Company’s stores is well recognized for its commitment to each local community where it does business. Mr. Brown serves as Officer and Director of Wakefern Food Corp.,
In addition to serving as Board Chairman of Uplift Solutions, Mr. Brown serves as Board Chairman for Philly Youth Network (PYN), Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, and the Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board. Lastly, Mr. Brown serves as Director and Officer the of New Jersey Food Council.
Sandy Brown – Sandy Brown graduated with a B.S. from the University of Maryland in 1984. She currently works as the In-Store Branding and Media Relations Director for Brown’s Super Stores. Before her work with Brown’s, Ms. Brown spent eleven years in management for consumer goods companies such as Unilever and Revlon. She joined the Brown’s team in 1995, developing the Human Resources basics necessary for the expansion and growth of the company. In addition, she was responsible for Customer Satisfaction and Quality Assurance for the company. Her HR involvement led her to a position in Customer Satisfaction and Public Relations for Brown’s, focusing on positive results with Wakefern’s Customer Satisfaction Measurement program and improved operational standards at Brown’s. Her current position with Brown’s Super Stores entails developing store décor for all new and remodeled stores and branding of ‘Brown’s Own’ products, as well as, Public and Media relations for the company.
In addition to serving as Board Secretary for Uplift Solutions, Mrs. Brown is involved with many organizations including the Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC), Susan Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer, Joshua Kahan Fund for Pediatric Leukemia, and Fragile X Syndrome. She currently serves as a Vice President for her synagogue in Cherry Hill and is an Advisory Board Member for Jewish Family Services of Southern New Jersey.
In 2009, based on his work with the FFFI, Mr. Brown was invited to meet with the Obama administration to discuss his role in and utilization of the program. In learning what was required to develop food desert supermarkets, the Obama administration inquired about organizations that existed to support local governments, supermarket operators, and developers in developing supermarkets in under-served communities. Mr. Brown informed the administration that no such organization existed, but he would dedicate his newly founded nonprofit to that mission. In 2010, Mr. Brown was recognized for his work in helping to establish the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), creating federal funding for the development of food assets in under-served communities nationally.