California FreshWorks Food Access Report

PCV InSightImpact Investing, InSight, Publications

california freshworks

This report evaluates the changes in community food access as a result of the California FreshWorks program, a $273 million healthy food financing initiative launched in July 2011 by a broad coalition of public and private partners led by the California Endowment. The report examines three FreshWorks-funded Northgate González grocery stores that received New Markets Tax Credit financing and seeks to answer two key research questions:

  • Are the new retail food stores meeting unmet need for grocery services?
  • How do community members perceive the benefits and/or negative consequences of the new stores?

To answer these questions, the evaluation team, led by the Sarah Samuels Center for Public Health Research and Evaluation with research support from Dr. Allison Karpyn of the University of Delaware, and Dr. Karen Glanz of the University of Pennsylvania, used a mixed-method approach including key informant interviews with store managers, intercept surveys with store shoppers, grocery store environmental assessments, and analysis of produce sales. Evaluation findings indicated that the three FreshWorks-funded stores provide shoppers with increased access to healthy, affordable, and high-quality food that is relevant to their cultural background.

This report is one of three in a series of reports released as part of the evaluation of California FreshWorks.  The two reports, California FreshWorks: A Case Study Examining the Development and Implementation of FreshWorks and The Social and Economic Impacts of FreshWorks: An Examination of Three Northgate González Grocery Store Investments can be found here.