(left)Kevin Reinowski, Bonnie Dockter, Mike Borgen, Ted Mertz, Frank Ewert (chairman), Alyce Heer, & Mike Rudnick
Anamoose JDA recently received two USDA Rural Development grants and became the fiscal sponsor of a ND Dept. of Commerce grant all totaling close to $225,000.
The first is a grant to renovate the former Sally’s Upholstery (or Old Post Office) building on Main Street just south of the new Fire Hall and north of the Anamoose Café and Bakery. The Anamoose JDA owns this building now and will renovate it to be used as a food hub…in the fact the first food hub in North Dakota.
What is a food hub? One of the highest priorities of the US Secretary of Agriculture, as well as the USDA, a food hub makes it possible for small growers to grow organically and sell their produce locally and regionally, which makes “Grow Local, Shop Local, Eat Fresh” possible. The Anamoose FARMtastic Food Hub will buy local/regional produce, fruits, and berries; aggregate them to make them more saleable in bulk; and market these produce, fruits, and berries to local/regional grocery stores, hospitals, schools, restaurants, and others.
The USDA food hub grant of $72,030 will allow the JDA to completely gut the building, update and/or move plumbing, electrical, and heating systems; replace the furnace and water heater; insulate, sheetrock, and paint; replace doors and windows; install new ceilings and floorings; and divide the main floor into a main sales area, a small bakery and afternoon coffee area, and large commercial kitchen. In the basement, a walk-in cooler will be installed along with cool storage areas. The second story, formerly one bedroom apartments, has been gutted but is not included under any of these grants.
The JDA also became the fiscal sponsor for a ND Department of Commerce grant of $52,900 to completely outfit the food hub’s commercial kitchen including with a commercial dehydrator. This space will be a certified kitchen and available to the public to use for canning, freezing, dehydrating, catering, and much more.
The second USDA grant of $99,500 provides the Anamoose JDA with a Revolving Loan Fund to make loans to new or existing entrepreneurs wanting to start or expand a business in Anamoose. More information about this benefit will be provided in another article soon.
A fourth grant is being sought to make the food hub building, restroom, and parking area handicapped accessible. Bonnie Helm, Anamoose resident, is providing her writing expertise on a volunteer consultant basis through her business: B. Helm Consulting & Grantwriting Services, LLC, which she has owned and operated for the past 30 years.