Grand Opening was celebrated by community leaders with a ribbon cutting
On March 9, 2019, the Evans Center held a Community Center Ribbon Cutting celebration to mark the grand opening of the Center, located in Palm Bay, Florida.
Built on the site of a former supermarket founded by Mr. Ross Evans, the Evans Center is a 6,000 square-foot facility that houses the Evans Community Market, Brevard Health Alliance, and a classroom / community room.
Located in a USDA-designated Food Desert, Evans Center will offer an array of healthy foods including fresh produce, meats, and prepared deli foods in a census tract where 33% of the population live at least 1 mile from a grocery store. In the area surrounding Evans Center, 54% of households earn less than $24,999 per year, and 63% own one or no vehicle. Positioned within walking distance of many of these residents, Evans Center can begin meeting their needs immediately with its community healthy living model.
The mission of Evans Center is “revitalizing our neighborhood through job training, health services, and a community market.” The facility is a critical component in stabilizing the community and rebuilding the vision of Mr. Evans for a strong, prosperous, and healthy community.
Florida Community Loan Fund provided $700,000 in financing for construction of the Evans Center, along with funding from other private and public sources. This financing is made possible by FCLF’s Food Access Program, established to increase access to fresh, healthy foods in low-income, food insecure communities. FCLF has received funding for its Food Access Program from the U.S. Department of Treasury CDFI Fund’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), and from the Florida Department of Agriculture, Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness, Healthy Food Financing Initiative (FL-HFFI). These funding sources, along with FCLF’s private capital, deploy flexible financing for projects that provide ready access to fresh foods and can, in turn, improve health indicators such as diabetes and heart disease.