Uplift believes that food access in underserved communities can become the anchor to fulfill community needs and ensure consistent access to fresh, affordable food. The Sustainable Food Solutions program area is able to provide technical assistance to develop new supermarkets and cooperatives, preserve existing supermarkets or cooperatives, and to build food recovery systems in underserved markets across the country while benefiting all stakeholders involved.

Underserved communities and food deserts have unique challenges but are no less deserving of access to fresh and healthy food.  Uplift is an expert in navigating these challenges that are specific to food deserts with innovative operating strategies, and comprehensive financial knowledge. We also know that there is no one-size fits all solution to lack access to food, so our work includes supermarkets, cooperatives, farmers markers, corner stores and more.  Through Sustainable Food Solutions’ three programs; new supermarket development, supermarket preservation, and food recovery, we provide equitable and sustainable food access in places that need it most.

Points of Contact
Walt West, Director of Sustainable Food Solutions
(856) 471-2034


Lauren Vague, Business Development Manager
(856) 471-2033

Programs include:

  • New Supermarket Development
  • Supermarket preservation (turnaround)
  • Food Recovery Systems


Selected Examples of Potential Clients:

  • Supermarket Operators
  • Real Estate Developers
  • Community Development Financial Institutions
  • Municipalities
  • Non Profits


Selected Technical Assistance Offerings:

  • Retail grocery feasibility studies
  • Retail pro forma development
  • Site selection and acquisition
  • Financial modeling and support
  • Profit and loss analysis
  • Operator sourcing
  • Shrink (waste) analysis
  • Merchandising support
  • Senior staff recruiting and training
  • Community Engagement