Food System Finance

Building a Healthier and More Sustainable Food System

Our food system lending addresses health, economic and social disparities across the country through targeted lending to food businesses and organizations that aim to improve our food system. Guided by principles of sustainability and social justice, we lend to help improve the health and well-being of our communities.

Farmer-Owned Hub and Co-op: A Perfect Match

Two Self-Help investments--a farmer-owned food hub and a neighborhood cooperative grocery--work symbiotically to create a sustainable food system:

Eastern Carolina Organics (ECO), a wholesale distributor of local organic produce, has been instrumental in transitioning tobacco farmers to organic produce. ECO returns 80% of every retail dollar to family farms in the region.

The Durham Co-op Market and its 2,000 members buy their produce from ECO. Plus the Co-op gets its meat from a sustainable niche meat aggregator that rents space and shares infrastructure with ECO.


Learn more about our food system loans.

In 2005, Tracy Scott decided to lose weight and eat healthier foods. Her goals led her to create her own delicious salad dressings. Today, Tracy is not only on a healthier path herself—she’s the owner of Tracy’s Gourmet, a business that helps others eat better, too.