NMTC and Opportunity Zone Investment Brings Healthy Food and Pharmacy to a USDA Food Desert

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The Kroger Co. is building a new full-service grocery store and pharmacy in the rural, highly economically distressed City of Fremont with a poverty rate of 27.7%, a median family income equal to 50.4%, and an unemployment rate of 14.3%. Fremont’s Kroger and Pharmacy created 40 direct jobs and 100 construction jobs with above average salaries and comprehensive benefits packages for the residents of this underserved community.

Finance Fund provided $13,000,000 in federal NMTC allocation and $2,564,102 of Ohio NMTC allocation for the construction and development costs. The NMTC allocations enabled Finance Fund to attract critical private investment to this catalytic project that will provide fresh food access, health care and employment in a qualified Opportunity Zone which enabled Kroger to raise over $8MM of additional private investment from Kroger Opportunity Fund I, Inc.

Located in a USDA Food Desert, The approximately 90,000 sq. ft. grocery store and pharmacy is expected to serve over 42,000 customers annually and offers a wide variety of goods and services such as fresh fish and meats, fruits and produce, grains and nuts.  The Kroger Pharmacy services include health screenings, medication therapy management, health coaching, and free prescription delivery.  Through partnerships with Community Health Services and Fremont City Schools, Kroger’s pharmacy can provide lower-cost medication to at-risk populations and immunization clinics for faculty and staff at all of the school locations.

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