The need for grocery store and fresh food access has found a champion at the national level. New York State Senator Gillibrand is asking for $1 billion in loans and grants for grocery stores nationwide to building 2,100 grocery stores in communities that lack them nationwide. Gillibrand Asking for 2,100 New Grocery Stores (Crain’s NY, April 12, 2010)

Non-profits have been prioritizing grocery store access for years – so this news is very exciting. In 2008, the Bay Area office of the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC has been championing grocery store access in underserved urban areas now for over a decade) sponsored a day-long symposium on this subject. A manual was created for that symposium, called “Grocery Store Attraction Strategies” that is an excellent primer for communities looking to attract grocery stores.

Another good resource comes from LISC’s now-defunct Commercial Markets Advisory Service (where I served as Director for almost two years). While there we published a newsletter dedicated to urban supermarkets that can be downloaded here: Inner-City Grocery Stores, Myths versus Reality.

Grocery store attaction is also a growing priority for the City of New York (see my previous blog: New York City to Promote Grocery Store Development).

It looks like lots of communities are ready to jump on the bandwagon!