About Us

About FreshWorks

California FreshWorks is a loan and grant program that provides financing to food enterprises who are working to increase access to affordable, healthy food in low-income and underserved communities in California. We work with a variety of businesses that grow, aggregate, distribute, and sell healthy food in a way that builds a sustainable food system and reaches people in need.

Our network of lenders provides flexible capital to healthy food enterprises that are often unable to receive credit from traditional sources. Our Lending is supported by technical assistance grants that help build capacity, as well as a credit enhancement program that helps our lenders take additional risk.

FreshWorks partners with businesses that can use our financial tools to make a positive difference in our target communities. We evaluate applicants on their business plan and financial strength, as well as the following goals:

  • Healthy Food Access: Increase access to healthy food for residents of low-income, low-access communities.
  • Economic Development: Spur job creation and inclusive economic development.
  • Racial & Social Equity: Ensure equitable access to food, ownership, and jobs.
  • Environmental Stewardship: Encourage sustainable environmental practices.
  • Local Sourcing: Build a sustainable California food system that increases availability of locally grown or produced foods.
Beyond the Grocery Store

FreshWorks invests in projects that increase healthy food access in a variety of ways. This includes traditional retail, as well as production, distribution, food hubs, aggregators, institutional buying programs, and other solutions to the issue of limited food access. We know that people get their food from a variety of sources, and we are committed to supporting high impact projects across the food value chain.

Why It Matters

More than one million Californians, many in low-income communities, live without access to grocery stores, or other sources of fresh and healthy food. The lack of fresh produce and other nutritious food in a family diet, which is often replaced by plentiful and cheap processed or fast food, negatively impacts community health.

Community health is not the only issue.

These same communities, primarily communities of color, have also seen decades of disinvestment and high rates of unemployment.

This lack of investment indicates that limited food access is not simply a health issue, but also a community development and equity issue.

California FreshWorks responds to these challenges with investment, technical assistance, and financing.

Projects we support increase access to healthy foods and promote investment in low-income communities and communities of color.  We support local solutions across the value chain that respond to the needs of individual communities, promoting economic development, and increased opportunities.

Connect with us to learn more about what we have to offer.

1. We’re mission-driven

2. We’re experienced

3. We’re flexible

4. We offer a multitude of capacity-building services