Healthy food financing projects have a good Return on Invest (ROI) for society because they result in economic development and disease reduction by focusing on prevention rather than treatment. Supermarkets in food desert areas have been shown to lead to improved diets and decreases in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other illnesses. They also lead to increased jobs, tax revenues, and real estate values while attracting other businesses to open in the area. This holistic model of community development through a sustainable, innovative supermarket is successful and brings growth to underserved communities.
Although the impacts of increased supermarkets in food desert areas are overwhelmingly positive, this work is not easy. Many of the issues that affect urban food desert communities make it difficult for grocery stores to operate profitably within those neighborhoods due to what we have come to call the “Grocer’s Gap”. UpLift addresses some of these issues by working with store owners to develop entrepreneurial solutions to bring down costs or increase revenues without reducing quality or increasing price. We also help to bridge this financing gap and build successful supermarkets by offering financial services uniquely tailored for the food retail industry.