The Central Topeka Grocery Oasis, a group of neighbors seeking to establish a full-service grocery store in central Topeka, is partnering with the Community Resources Council to bring that goal one step closer to reality.
Central Topeka Grocery Oasis members announced in a news release Thursday afternoon that it plans to become a second-tier organization under CRC’s umbrella.
The release indicated that partnering with the CRC will allow the group to tap into business, financial and technical supports needed to create a long-term plan for creation and operation of a potential central-Topeka store. And under the CRC umbrella, Central Topeka Grocery Oasis can begin a capital campaign to raise funds for the store’s creation.
Other second-tier nonprofits under the CRC umbrella include Community Food Network, Heartland Healthy Neighborhoods, the NOTO Arts Center and some of Topeka’s neighborhood improvement associations.
The Central Topeka Grocery Oasis announced Mary Thomas, CRC director, has agreed to be the group’s agent. Glenda Washington, the Greater Topeka Partnership’s chief equity and opportunity officer, and Glenda DuBois, of Collective Community Development LLC, will serve as volunteer consultants.
Central Topeka Grocery Oasis, which has eight founding members, was formed in 2018 as a grassroots group with a mission of resolving the food desert and food insecurity that has existed in central Topeka since a Dillon’s grocery store there closed, according to the group’s mission statement.
Earlier this year, the group presented results of a feasibility study it commissioned to determine the viability of opening a full-service grocery store in central Topeka. According to that study, the area can support a grocery store of 7,500 to 10,000 square feet.