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Federal Grant Gives St. John Grocery Effort Big Boost

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Bryan Thompson
/
Kansas News Service
Since the Dillons grocery store in St. John closed last year, residents have traveled 12 miles to Stafford or farther to supermarkets in Great Bend or Pratt for their groceries.

A small Kansas town's effort to replace its lone grocery store is getting a big boost from the federal government.

A $780,000 Community Economic Development Grant will pay about a quarter of the cost of bringing a new grocery store, pharmacy and gas station to St. John, a town of about 1,300 people in Stafford County.

The Hutchinson News reports the award makes officials hopeful they could break ground on the $3 million project this year.

The Stafford County Economic Development agency decided to build the grocery, which will include fuel pumps and a pharmacy, after St. John lost its only grocery last year. It will provide fresh food and about 30 jobs.

The plan is to lease the grocery to Kingman-based White's Foodliner, which will stock and operate it.