Another funding victory brings us one step closer — one huge step closer — to creating the local grocery store that we envision for the town of Indian Head.

We learned recently that Oasis Fresh Foods Market has been selected for a major funding grant from the nationwide Healthy Food Financing Initiative – Targeted Small Grants program. The initiative is administered on behalf of USDA Rural Development.

Oasis was selected from a field of more than 500 initial applicants, of which nearly 300 reached the final review phase. The program was initially authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, and our award represents one of the few times a Maryland business has been selected for funding.

“This is a highly, highly competitive program,” said Marilyn Steele, one of the leaders behind the Oasis Fresh Foods Market project. “We are thrilled and honored to be selected. It’s further affirmation that access to healthy food matters, and what we are doing can have a big impact on our town.”

Once the funds are received, they will go directly toward supplying and stocking the store. Money will be used to purchase equipment items like refrigerators, freezers and shelving. And it will help us begin filling the store with food items in advance of our opening in 2023.

The momentum has been building rapidly this year in the development of our new grocery store. We have been grateful for the support of local citizens and business leaders, as well as the vision and faith of civic leaders and organizations at the town, county, state and federal levels that have been instrumental in providing the resources that are bringing this effort to life.

Stay tuned because progress is happening quickly, and we’ll have more to share soon.