New Markets Tax Credit allotment helps Food Bank respond to increased demand caused by COVID-19
BlueHub Capital, a national nonprofit community development finance organization, today announces a $13 million New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) investment in the Atlanta Community Food Bank to help end hunger and meet increased food insecurity across the state of Georgia.
The Food Bank serves as the central distribution center for more than 700 nonprofit agencies that provide food assistance in 29 Georgia counties, providing food and other critical resources for more than 1 million food insecure people. Over the past year, the Food Bank has distributed the equivalent of 100 million meals.
“During the pandemic, we increased our food distribution by 65 percent,” said Kyle Waide, president and CEO of the Food Bank. “In a typical year, we spend $5.5 million on purchasing food. Last year we spent $20 million. This investment has helped us not only offset expenses but really restore working capital so we can continue to be aggressive in responding to food insecurity in our community.”
BlueHub Capital partnered with Raza Development Fund, the largest Latino Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in the US, and PNC Tax Credit Solutions Group, a PNC Real Estate business, which purchased the NMTC, for a combined $33 million NMTC investment. This deal resulted in a $5.7 million in subsidy to the Food Bank, which will support adding 81 new permanent full-time positions, retaining 159 permanent full-time employees, and helping fund the distribution of 107 million pounds of food in 2022.
In March 2020, days before nationwide shutdowns, the Food Bank moved into a 345,000 square foot headquarters and distribution facility—the largest of its kind in the country—that enabled the team to immediately ramp up operations far beyond initial plans. The Food Bank is distributing 30 to 40 percent more food each week compared to pre-pandemic levels.
“With COVID-19, like many other food banks and nonprofits, the Atlanta Community Food Bank saw both an overall increase in the need for food and populations facing food insecurity for the first time. This not only strained its budget but challenged its operations to respond to the increased and new needs,” said Elyse Cherry, CEO of BlueHub Capital. “The Food Bank’s response was immediate, effective and creative. We’re pleased that our missions have aligned and this New Markets Tax Credit investment will allow the Food Bank to purchase additional food and provide support to communities across Georgia. Their work is impressive and we’re proud to support it.”
The Food Bank estimates that more than half of the people it serves are working families that earn too much to qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits but not enough to meet their basic needs with rising healthcare, housing and food costs.
“It’s estimated that every dollar of subsidy provides enough for four meals, resulting in 22.6 million meals for food insecure people in Georgia,” said DeWitt Jones, president of BlueHub Managed Assets, an affiliate of BlueHub Capital that leads its NMTC program. “BlueHub has a long history of fighting hunger through targeted investments in food banks, grocery stores in low-income communities, schools that provide free meals to all students and food incubators. It’s great to be working with another impactful organization in the Atlanta Community Food Bank.”
BlueHub’s NMTC program supports high-impact community development projects that benefit low income and underserved areas. Fueled by allocations of tax credits from the US Department of the Treasury, the program facilitates private investments and lowers the cost of capital for community and economic development projects that create quality jobs and long-term opportunities for low-income people and communities. BlueHub works with United Fund Advisors of Portland, Oregon, on its NMTC strategy and investments.
BlueHub Capital has received nine allocations totaling $543 million from the US Department of the Treasury’s NMTC program. BlueHub has deployed NMTC allocations in 22 states and partners on community and economic development projects in the nation’s most underserved rural and urban communities, including these examples:
- Healthcare and community services in the Northeast
- Sustainable forestry in rural West Virginia, Florida and the Northwest
- Food production in Tennessee and Georgia
- Commercial real estate redevelopment in Texas, North Dakota, Virginia and Connecticut
About BlueHub Capital
BlueHub Capital is a mission-driven, nonprofit community development finance organization focused on building healthy communities where low-income people live and work. We use innovative financial tools and deploy capital to support projects that make communities more vibrant places to live. BlueHub has four distinct programs: BlueHub Loan Fund (community development financing), BlueHub SUN (foreclosure relief), BlueHub Energy (clean energy access) and One Percent for America (citizenship financing). Since our founding in 1985, BlueHub has invested over $2.4 billion (and leveraged over $12 billion) to finance:
- Affordable housing, school facilities, child and youth development programs, community-based health centers, grocery stores, and community gathering places
- Removing financial barriers to US citizenship
- Clean energy enhancements that expand access to solar and other renewable sources for people with low incomes
- Mortgage lending for families facing foreclosure
Reducing economic inequality is at the heart of why BlueHub exists and why we do the work we do. Our investments focus on marginalized communities, particularly those who’ve been systematically denied access to capital. To learn more about BlueHub Capital, please visit, www.bluehubcapital.org.
About Atlanta Community Food Bank
The Atlanta Community Food Bank works to end hunger with the food, people and big ideas needed to ensure our neighbors have the nourishment to lead healthy and productive lives. Far too many people in our own community experience hunger every day, including children, seniors and working families. Through more than 700 nonprofit partners, we help more than 715,000 people get healthy food every year. Our goal is that all hungry people across metro Atlanta and north Georgia will have access to the nutritious meals they need when they need them. It takes the power of our whole community to make that possible. Join us at www.ACFB.org.