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Underserved Central Fresno Neighborhood To Get A Large Grocer This Year


A new partnership between two California groups is making it a little bit easier for residents of one older Fresno neighborhood to get fresh healthy food. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports. 

For the first time in more than 15 years a new grocery store is set to open in an underserved Central Fresno neighborhood.

The 45,000 square foot Vallarta Supermarket on Clinton Avenue near Highway 99 is currently under construction. A portion of the funding for the project is coming from the California FreshWorks Fund, sourced through the California Endowment and the Northern California Community Loan Fund. Daniel Hlad is with the lender that made the $6 million loan.

HLAD: “This area is considered a food desert. So there’s not really a supermarket of this caliber within a two mile radius. At the same time I think there are 20,000 people within a one mile radius, 58 percent of which are Latino.”

The store is expected to create 200 jobs and will have a large fresh produce section, a meat-market and a bakery. Hlad also says his group recently gave over $650,000 to the Merced-based organization Ag Link to connect local growers with public schools. The group built a cold storage with the funds and locally grown fruits and veggies should be on Merced County school lunch trays soon. 

Ezra David Romero is an award-winning radio reporter and producer. His stories have run on Morning Edition, Morning Edition Saturday, Morning Edition Sunday, All Things Considered, Here & Now, The Salt, Latino USA, KQED, KALW, Harvest Public Radio, etc.
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