As famous as New Orleans cuisine is, it’s incredibly disheartening to know that much of the city is adversely affected by food desserts.
The national average is one grocery store for every 8,500 people, whereas Nola has only one for every 14,000 people SmartCitiesDive pointed out in a report. 20% of households in the state of Louisiana live under the poverty line and have little access to proper transportation.
A pillar of Black financial empowerment recognizes this and has recently announced a major move toward making healthy food options more readily available for underserved communities.
Hope Credit Union (HOPE), The City of New Orleans and Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority (LAFA) partnered with Canseco Properties, owner of Lousiana-based grocery chain to finance an expansion deal that will broaden access to high-quality, affordable groceries in a newly constructed store according to a news release shared with ESSENCE. A new Elysian Fields-based will serve over 21,300 residents, three out of four of whom are Black, and create 15 new jobs according to the statement.
HOPE led partial financing for the project totaling $2,000,000.
“The City of New Orleans is a proud investor in Canseco Properties through our Fresh Food Retailer Initiative (FFRI),” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell in the news release. “Since its inception, FFRI has invested over $13 million to bring fresh food access to underserved communities. Sinesio Canesco provided the Gentilly community with its first full service grocery store following the devastating impacts of Hurricane Katrina. I applaud Mr. Canesco’s strong commitment and great contribution to our city and look forward to Canseco’s continuing its impact throughout our communities by expanding our people’s access to fresh, affordable, healthy food. We are grateful to Hope Credit Union and Mr. Canseco for supporting and understanding the need of this critical resource for our people.”
“The communities we serve are vulnerable to food droughts and unhealthy food options. We are happy to open another store that provides the high-quality shopping experience our customers deserve,” says Sinesio Canseco, Owner of Canseco Properties. “Since our founding, we have aimed to create a friendly neighborhood market with products for the needs of each community. Our collaboration with HOPE, the City of New Orleans and LAFA is making that more possible each day.”