NEW YORK — Chase announced that it will make investments through the New Markets Tax Credits program to support the new construction of, and improvements to, grocery stores as well as other initiatives to provide more fresh and healthy foods in low-income neighborhoods across the country identified as "food deserts."
"We know that healthy foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables and organic foods, will contribute to the health of individuals and families — and, as a result, neighborhoods — so we encourage grocers and others to identify projects that would benefit from New Markets Tax Credit financing," said Martin Cox, the head of Community Development Banking at Chase, part of JPMorgan Chase, in a statement. "Together, we can reduce the number of neighborhoods without enough healthy choices in urban America."
Recently, the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund released the 2011 New Markets Tax Credits application, which — for the first time — asks applicants to describe how they will use allocations of the tax credits to finance healthy food projects. Chase will work with tax credits recipients to identify viable projects that will provide access to healthy foods primarily in underserved urban areas.
The tax credits will be used to provide subsidy to encourage operators of grocery stores to build and enhance facilities in low-income communities.