Print
Government

New Hanover Community Endowment Feeds Wilmington Food Desert With $6.8M

By Audrey Elsberry, posted Feb 21, 2024
The New Hanover Community Endowment announced a $6.8 million investment in the Northside Food Cooperative, a startup grocery store, on Wednesday.

The Northside Food Cooperative serves Wilmington's Northside neighborhood, a long-standing food desert at 10th and Post Streets. The Food Cooperative applied for the investment as a part of the endowment's 2023 grant cycle but was not included in the $53 million funding round. This latest investment comes two months after the NHCE’s funding release in December. NHCE officials stated the application needed additional research before investment.

“This is the first step toward eradicating a 35-year-old food desert on Wilmington’s Northside,” Bill Cameron, chairman of the NHCE board, stated in Wednesday’s release. “We’re excited to invest in grassroots solutions like the Northside Food Cooperative and look forward to partnering with them and New Hanover County to bring a grocery store to the community.”

The additional due diligence required for the investment included meetings with Cierra Washington, project manager of Northside Food Cooperative, and her team, NHCE's director of communications Kevin Maurer told the Business Journal.

"The delay, in part, was because of the holidays and because of moving the other grants through," Maurer said, "so it was just an ongoing process that we had an intent to put it out with the rest of our investments but it ended up getting delayed until the new year."

Maurer said he hopes this will be the beginning of an ongoing investment into the Northside community.

The investment will consist of $2.03 million this year, $3.40 million next year and $1.35 million in 2026, according to the release.

Northside Food Cooperative’s vision is a small-format, full-line store selling primarily familiar groceries with added fresh produce and meat. The investment over the next three years will fund the construction and design of the store along with opening costs.

The project is currently in the planning and development phase, according to NHCE's release, with construction planned to start in 2025. The store is expected to open in 2026. 

In 2022, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners voted to invest in a grocery store in the Northside neighborhood as a part of its community-building plan.

“This is more than a grocery store,” said Lakesha McDay, NHCE's interim CEO and executive vice president of programs and operations. “This was a promise made to the community decades ago. It is very exciting to team up with New Hanover County and the Northside Food Cooperative to make it a reality.”

McDay has taken over the responsibilities of inaugural president and CEO William Buster after he resigned on Feb. 5.

Correction: This story has been updated to correct that Lakesha McDay's position is executive vice president of programs and operations.
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Burrus rob headshot 300x300

Spreading Wings for Flight: 2nd Annual Trade Show Highlights the Ingenuity of UNCW Business Students

Robert Burrus - Cameron School of Business - UNC-Wilmington
Untitleddesign7

Mastering ARC Applications: Best Practices for HOA Board Members

Dave Orr - Community Association Management Services
2022052 75 142344351

Bridging Futures: The Case for Toll Funding in Wilmington’s Cape Fear Memorial Bridge Revamp

Natalie English - Wilmington Chamber of Commerce

Trending News

Riverlights Could Add 73 More Townhomes To Mix, Site Plans Show

Staff Reports - Apr 18, 2024

Game Over For Michael Jordan Museum At Project Grace

Audrey Elsberry - Apr 19, 2024

City Approvals Push Forward Plans For Former Wilmington Fire Stations

Emma Dill - Apr 17, 2024

Surf City Embarks On Park’s Construction

Cece Nunn - Apr 19, 2024

Taking Marine Science On The Road

Lynda Van Kuren - Apr 19, 2024

In The Current Issue

Info Junkie: Lydia Thomas

Lydia Thomas, program manager for the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UNCW, shares her top info and tech picks....


MADE: Makers Of Important Papers

W.R. Rayson is a family-owned manufacturer and converter of disposable paper products used in the dental, medical laboratory and beauty indu...


Bootstrapping A Remote Option

Michelle Penczak, who lives in Pender County, built her own solution with Squared Away, her company that now employs over 400 virtual assist...

Book On Business

The 2024 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2024 Power Breakfast: The Next Season