November 19, 2019 -- Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome today announced a major milestone in her effort to bring a healthy food retail store to North Baton Rouge. The initiative not only addresses access to nutritional food for an underserved area, but it also addresses the continued investment and revitalization of the area.
“When I campaigned for this office, I promised to focus on food deserts throughout our community. Today, I’m proud to announce my Healthy Food Retail Initiative,” said Mayor Broome. “This effort has been talked about for years, and today, we are moving forward.”
Hope Enterprise Corporation, a vital partner in this effort, is now advertising a full-time position for a Commercial Loan Officer, which is dedicated to identifying a grocer and offering a financial incentive package to help them locate a retail space in the area.
Mayor Broome’s Healthy Food Retail Initiative utilizes the Federal Community Development Block Grant funding, in partnership with Mayor Broome’s Geaux Get Healthy Initiative. Through this capital, innovative business loans will be offered through Hope Enterprise Corporation structured to assist businesses in locating into food desert areas.
Mayor Broome would like to give special thanks to our partners in this initiative: Hope Enterprise Corporation, The Food Trust, Baton Rouge North Economic Development District, Baton Rouge Area Chamber, East Baton Rouge Metro Council, Build Baton Rouge, and Healthy Baton Rouge.
In the past few weeks alone, Mayor Broome and community stakeholders have announced a $30 million HUD Choice Neighborhood Initiative grant in the Smiley Heights neighborhood, the Plank Road Corridor Master Plan and a $15 million Bus Rapid Transit grant that will link North Baton Rouge, downtown, South Baton Rouge and the LSU neighborhoods.
Additionally, in the past year, nearly $2 million has been invested in designated food deserts as part of the Geaux Get Healthy initiative, funded in partnership with the Humana Foundation and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, with plans being made to continue this next year.
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