Keller Market House Receives Grant to Improve Healthy Food Access in Fairfield County
Keller Market House was among 134 grantees to receive financial assistance awards through the 2021 round of America’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative’s (HFFI) Targeted Small Grants Program. The Keller Market House will use these funds to further invest in their historic building, with an extensive remodeling project to expand their grocery operations.
The Keller Market House opened its doors in 2016, and serves as a food hub for Ohio farmers and food producers. As an indoor year-round marketplace, it provides a shared retail space that makes local foods available in downtown Lancaster six days a week. A SNAP retailer, the market house is dedicated to putting “real food within reach” for everyone in our community.
The Keller Market House will use its award of $195,724 to renovate portions of its building that are currently not suitable for grocery operations. Plans include adding a more efficient vendor delivery entrance and new work spaces for vendors and staff. This expansion, along with new refrigeration equipment, will allow the market house to offer a greater and more diverse selection of local foods, improving the shopping experience and building more connections between Ohio producers and Fairfield county shoppers.
“We are beyond excited to have been chosen to receive this grant,” said Board President Kim Sheldon. “These funds will lay the groundwork for the much needed repairs and renovations to our building, while allowing us to dedicate other funds to the improvement of operations and to broaden our inventory. We are grateful for all of our donors and partners!”
Funding for the HFFI grants program is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. The 134 projects received a total of $22.6 million in financial assistance awards. Awardees were selected through a competitive process that was open to eligible fresh food retail projects and food enterprises.
America’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative aims to improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas, to create and preserve quality jobs, and to revitalize low income communities. These grants are designed to be one-time investments of capital to food retailers and food enterprises, to strengthen, expand and innovate within the food retail supply chain. More information and a full list of awardees is available at www.investinginfood.com.