There may finally be some relief for residents of a "food desert" in Binghamton.

The Broome County Council of Churches plans to operate a small grocery store on the city's North Side.

The store is to be part of a mixed-use development being built at the site once occupied by a Big Lots store at 435 State Street.

The facility is to be located on the ground floor of the complex that's being called Canal Plaza. The store will occupy about 5,000 square feet.

The operation is being described as a "social purpose" grocery store. The Council of Churches will work with Your Bargain Grocery, which runs a similar store in Utica.

Most of the funding to launch the new store will come from government sources. The city of Binghamton and New York state each are to contribute $150,000 for the project.

The store is to sell a range of foods, including fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy products. It's expected to have three managerial employees and eight part-time workers.

The North Side has been without a supermarket since 1996 when Grand Union closed its store in the Binghamton Plaza.

City officials have announced grocery store projects for the neighborhood but those previous plans were unsuccessful.

Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com

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