While construction continues at the site of the long-awaited grocery store on Binghamton’s north side, the organization running the discount grocer is asking for the community’s help in getting off the ground.

“That money raised will go towards things like mops and buckets. The little things that you wouldn’t think would be a lot, but aren’t usually covered by larger grant money and end up really adding up,” says Reverend Joseph Sellepack, Executive Director of the Broome County Council of Churches.

In January, it was announced that the Council of Churches will be running the store at the future site of Canal Plaza, where the Big Lots used to stand. The north side of the city has been without a grocery store for more than 20 years.

Sellepack says the store will offer affordable and healthy food options, whereas now, residents who can’t drive or need cheap options close to home are buying processed foods from corner stores and dollar stores. Sellepack says the store opening could have a huge effect on quality of life, cutting down on obesity and diabetes as well as helping the Council of Churches to serve other parts of the county with their other programs.

“We’re going to be able to take the profits and roll that over to our other programs for food insecurity,” says Sellepack, “It’s kind of a win-win for us.”

Those other programs are things like CHOW, building wheel chair ramps around the community, and jail and hospital ministry.

If the Council of Churches reaches their $25,000 fundraising goal, that puts them in the running for a $100,000 grant from USA Today’s “A Community Thrives” contest. To donate, click here.


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