Community: St. John, KS
County: Stafford County
Geographical context: Rural
Date Funded: March 2018
When the Dillon’s Food Store closed in St. John, the city appointed six community members to a Grocery Store Task Force to consider the community’s options. Stafford County Economic Development played a key role in identifying funding options for building a new grocery store in St. John. “Having a grocery store is a critical part of keeping your town viable,” says Carolyn Dunn, Executive Director of Stafford County Economic Development. In addition to several other funding partners, the Kansas Healthy Food Initiative provided a $75,000 challenge grant to support the initiative. The store, owned by the city of St. John and operated by White’s Foodliner, opened in October of 2018. The full-service store has a wide-variety of produce, fresh meat and refrigerated fresh food. It also has a deli and shares space with Stafford County Drug. One unique contribution to the community is the grocery store’s conference room that is open and available for community groups to use.
“The big picture is not the cost of [building] the store in the first place.
It’s the economic benefit to the town.”
– Carolyn Dunn, Stafford County Economic Development