The city of Halstad is a community that is used to coming together when it means finding creative solutions to problems at hand. That’s why they were one of two communities selected to participate in NMF’s Communities Thrive program. When Halstad’s only grocery store in town closed in 2018, the Cenex Station adjusted its inventory to make shelf space for grocery basics such as milk, bread and eggs. The next nearest grocery store is a 15-20 minute drive. In an effort to find a long-term solution to this problem, John Hinkley decided to step in and use his business as a vehicle to expand his offerings.
“When this project is done, it’s going to show that people are willing to invest in this community, and it’s not dying,” said Hinkley, “We want everyone in Halstad to know that their neighbors care and are willing to step up to help.” Hinkley also mentioned that he hopes to pay it forward and sell his current building to someone with an idea to make use of the space. His new facility is scheduled to open for business in May of 2020.
In addition to the new store, Halstad is also working on developing a multi-use trail system and working on finding ways to repurpose the high school building which has been sitting vacant for over a year. A few ideas that have come up in community conversations are a child care center, a fitness and recreation space, and spaces that can be used for offices or affordable housing. The city also used Communities Thrive grant funding to build the World’s Largest Sugar Beet statue to pay homage to the area’s longstanding history of sugar beet farming. The statue will be completed by spring of 2020.
“It feels great to be a part of such an important project,” said Robert Maher, NMF Program Officer. “This project aligns perfectly with the goals and outcomes that NMF would like to see through our Communities Thrive program. I’m confident that this project will inspire other entrepreneurs and community members to continue investing their time and resources into making Halstad a vibrant place to live and raise a family.”
A total of $10,000 in grant funding was awarded to projects in Halstad in Fiscal Year 2019. For more information about NMF’s Communities Thrive program, click here.