SOURCE: National New Markets Fund, LLC

National New Markets Fund, LLC

June 21, 2012 09:10 ET

San Antonio Food Bank Launches $28 Million Expansion With NMTC Investments From National New Markets Fund and Texas Mezzanine Fund

Nation's 14th Largest Food Bank Will Double in Size; Equity Investment by U.S. Bank Supports Expansion to Serve Region's Poorest Families

SAN ANTONIO, TX--(Marketwire - Jun 21, 2012) - San Antonio Food Bank (SAFB) -- the nation's 14th largest regional food bank serving an area where one out of every four children lives in poverty -- has secured $27 million in New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) to help fund a $28 million expansion.

The expansion will enable SAFB to double its capacity and increase the supply of food -- particularly fresh produce and fruit, as well much sought-after frozen meat -- it provides families and children in need. It will also double SAFB's current parking capacity to serve the nearly 1,000 volunteers and 1,000 clients who visit the Food Bank each week. Additionally, the funds will facilitate relocation of the Food Bank's five-acre urban farm to a more permanent space.

The $27 million in NMTC funding comes from a $14 million investment by Los Angeles-based National New Markets Fund (NNMF), and a $13 million investment by Dallas-based Texas Mezzanine Fund. U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), a subsidiary of U.S. Bank, committed tax credit equity that capitalized the NMTCs in support of the expansion, and serves as the tax credit investor.

"New Markets Tax Credits are the lynchpin required to make this project a reality and provide the jumpstart we need to meet the growing demand for food we have seen since the recession. We are especially grateful to our friends at Crescent Growth Capital who helped us arrange this transaction with efficiency while providing tremendous support and guidance along the way," said Eric Cooper, SAFB president and CEO.

Congressman Charles Gonzales of the 20th Congressional District added, "The federal New Markets Tax Credit program helps spur economic opportunity and combat poverty. By helping San Antonio Food Bank finance its expansion, such credits will have a profound and positive impact on our community."

Established by Congress in 2000 to stimulate investment and economic growth in designated low-income communities, the NMTC program helps raise investor capital and leverages public and private funding to provide borrowers, such as SAFB, with financing in the form of very favorable rates and flexible, below-market terms. NMTC funding helps fill financing gaps when other public and private funding sources are insufficient or unavailable, by helping borrowers focus more fully on their mission; in this case, fighting hunger in Southwest Texas through food distribution, programs, education and advocacy.

"This San Antonio Food Bank investment is precisely in line with what the NMTC program was created to support -- services and opportunities that help low-income residents and communities. By fighting hunger, our investment in SAFB will provide critical nutrition that not only helps these individuals and families maintain their health, but also improve their ability to escape from poverty," said Deborah La Franchi, president of National New Markets Fund, LLC (NNMF). The $237 million fund invests in poor and underserved communities across the U.S. It has a history of investment in San Antonio, including $15 million in NMTC funding to help complete development of the landmark Haven for Hope homeless transformation campus.

Victor Elmore, president and CEO of Texas Mezzanine Fund (TMF), added, "TMF is extremely excited to use a portion of its NMTC allocation to participate in a project as impactful as the expansion of San Antonio Food Bank. SAFB's mission of fighting hunger is consistent with TMF's mission of providing financial resources to organizations that serve low-income communities. SAFB has an excellent track record of accomplishment, and TMF is delighted to partner with such a distinguished organization." This project is TMF's third NMTC-related project in the San Antonio area, in addition to its various revolving loan fund clients. TMF's two other local projects helped support the Drury Hotel and the Briscoe Western Arts Museum.

"We're proud to support the availability of food security programs for low-income people in the area," said Matt Philpott, Director of New Markets, Historic and Renewable Energy Tax Credit Investments for USBCDC. "Our partnership allows SAFB to continue providing uninterrupted service to the residents of Southwest Texas while expanding its operations and programming. We're thrilled to have helped make this project a reality."

The San Antonio Food Bank's planned expansion incorporates environmental sustainability to offset consumption of power from conventional sources with renewable sources of energy, including an electricity-generating wind turbine, solar panels and rain-water harvesting systems. In addition to the green energy component of the project, the Food Bank's on-site farm adds locally grown produce to three community kitchens, two farmers markets, and the more than 500 agencies that withdraw product from the Food Bank on a given week. Being "green" is second nature to the Food Bank, which is a recognized leader in sustainable business practices in San Antonio.

About San Antonio Food Bank
Founded in 1980, the nonprofit SAFB is the oldest of Texas' 19 Feeding America Food Banks, and the 14th largest food bank (among 205 total) in the U.S. Its mission is to fight hunger in Southwest Texas through food distribution, programs, education and advocacy. SAFB serves as a clearinghouse by receiving and storing truckloads of donated food, produce, and other grocery products and distributing these items to more than 500 service agencies that help people in need. Every week, 58,000 people receive food through SAFB's programs. Sixty-five percent of families requesting emergency food have children. SAFB's target jurisdiction also includes disproportionately large percentages of impoverished senior citizens. More information is available at www.safoodbank.org

About the New Markets Tax Credit Program
The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program was established by Congress in 2000 to spur new or increased investment in operating businesses and real estate projects located in low-income communities. The program brings investment capital to low-income communities by permitting individual and corporate investors to receive a tax credit against their federal income tax return in exchange for making equity investments in specialized financial institutions called Community Development Entities (CDEs). The credit totals 39 percent of the original investment amount, and is claimed over a period of seven years (five percent for each of the first three years, and six percent for each of the remaining four years). To learn more, visit www.cdfifund.gov.

About National New Markets Fund
Deborah La Franchi of Strategic Development Solutions (SDS) and Belden Hull Daniels of Economic Innovation International, Inc. co-founded National New Markets Fund (NNMF) to invest in development projects that serve low-income communities across the U.S. The Fund has received $237 million in National New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) funding from the federal CDFI Fund, and is currently investing in a variety of projects throughout the South, California's Central Valley and the Pacific Northwest. Visit www.sdsgroup.com/funds/national-new-markets-fund/nnmf-projects for more information.

About Texas Mezzanine Fund
The Texas Mezzanine Fund, Inc. (TMF) is a for-profit community development corporation certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution and Community Development Entity. TMF's main goal is to promote, stimulate, develop and advance the business, prosperity, employment and economic welfare in distressed and under-served communities throughout the State of Texas by providing financing for businesses in these areas. TMF was capitalized by a consortium of financial institutions, and began lending in May 1999. More information can be found at www.tmfund.com

About U.S. Bank
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $341 billion in assets as of March 31st, 2012, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,080 banking offices in 25 states and 5,061 ATMs, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. U.S. Bancorp and its employees are dedicated to improving the communities they serve. The company earned the 2011 Spirit of America Award, the highest honor bestowed on a company by United Way. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at www.usbank.com.

About U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation
With more than $9.7 billion in assets, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), a subsidiary of U.S. Bank, provides innovative financing solutions for community development projects across the country using state and federally sponsored tax credit programs. USBCDC's commitments provide capital investment to areas that need it the most, and have contributed to the creation of new jobs, the rehabilitation of historic buildings, the construction of needed affordable and market-rate homes, the development of renewable energy facilities, and the generation of commercial economic activity in underserved communities.

Contact Information

  • Contact:

    Veronica Laurel
    San Antonio Food Bank
    210.431.8474
    vlaurel[at]safoodbank[dot]org

    Nicole Garrison-Sprenger
    U.S. Bank
    (612) 303- 0731
    nicole.sprenger[at]usbank[dot]com

    Erik Deutsch
    ExcelPR Group (for NNMF)
    (323) 851-2300x112
    erikd[at]excelpr[dot]com