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Wyoming Food for Thought set to get $750K grant for new grocery store in North Casper

A rendering shows the design concept of the Urban Food Hub, which will transform the former North Casper Elementary School into a multi-use food and community center by Food for Thought. (Courtesy)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Food for Thought Project looks to have secured $750,000 toward renovations to create a new grocery store at the former North Casper Elementary School.

The City of Casper acted as the municipal sponsor for Food for Thought’s request for block grant funding available through the Wyoming Community Development Authority. With the WCDA Board of Directors having awarded the grant, the Casper City Council will be asked on Tuesday to authorize acceptance of the $750,000 block grant award.

If the City Council authorizes the acceptance of the grant, the city will provide oversight and administer funding to Wyoming Food for Thought, which will be the subrecipient of the grant, a memo from city staff states.

In addition to a new grocery store, Wyoming Food for Thought told the City Council in September 2021 that it has plans to add the following at the former North Casper school site:

  • An urban farm
  • Community gardens
  • A shared-use commercial kitchen space
  • A food business incubator

Jamie Purcell, director of Wyoming Food for Thought, described the overall project as aiming to create an urban food center to support the community.

City staff have completed training from the Wyoming Community Development Authority that is required for the grant, the staff memo said.

The city will be tasked with submitting eligible project expenses and reimbursement requests on behalf of Wyoming Food for Thought under the terms of the grant. The city can receive up to a 10% administrative fee from the grant for personnel costs associated with administering it.