The Social and Economic Impacts of California FreshWorks

PCV InSightImpact Investing, InSight, Publications

california freshworks

This report examines the social and economic impacts 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 evaluation of social and economic impacts focuses on three FreshWorks-funded Northgate González grocery stores that received New Markets Tax Credit financing. Based on three-year longitudinal data, the report seeks to answer two key research questions:

  • How does FreshWorks impact employment and job quality of workers in local communities, particularly in underserved communities?
  • What broader economic impacts do FreshWorks investments have in the communities where they are located?

The three FreshWorks-funded stores have generated significant positive social and economic impacts in their respective communities, creating over 450 jobs in the local community for lower-income workers with benefits that exceed national benchmarks. Combined, the three FreshWorks-funded stores have also generated over $40 million in one-time economic activity and $33 million in recurring economic activity for the broader community.

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 California FreshWorks Food Access Report can be found here.