AUGUSTA, Ga. - The Harrisburg neighborhood, long known as a 'food desert' will soon see some relief. Thanks to a half-million-dollar donation from televangelist T.D. Jakes.

People who live in the Harrisburg, Laney are do not have access to nutritious foods and fresh products. With this donation, they will soon have a grocery store within their neighborhood. Breaking the barriers of food insecurity and the food desert. 

"...it has been a food desert for so very long. So, we are excited for our neighbors and the partnership." Amy Breitmann, Golden Harvest Food Bank CEO said. 

According to a press release, in April of 2023, the T.D. Jakes Group and Wells Fargo announced a 10-year partnership that could result up to 1 billion in capital and financing to support undeserved communities across the United States. This philanthropy spans across diverse communities, including Black, Brown and impoverished White populations. 

The T.D. Jakes Foundation, along with Wells Fargo, invested 9 million dollars into transformational community development across America. Augusta is one of the cities that will benefit from the program. The funding will be given to the Community Foundation of Central Savannah River Area, which will oversee the introduction and development of a grocery store in the Laney Walker area. 

Breitmann says that this will be a great change for the area.

"Well, access to fresh produce, dairy, and meat... especially, is really challenging for folks in that downtown area. Even in our pantry, we have a number of pantries that do a great job at supplying that for our neighbors" Breitmann explained. 

This new development will benefit the residents in that area greatly.  "But to be able to go into a grocery store to use SNAP benefits and other resources to purchase the food themselves will be a powerful thing for our neighbors. 

Augusta Locally Grown connects local farmers to the area to provide fresh produce. Rebecca Van Lonen is the Executive Director for the organization. 

"We're looking at some streets and some communities in the South Augusta, Laney Walker corridors. That they have two buses to get to a viable grocery store. To have something within walking distance is life-changing." Van Lonen said. 

T.D. Jakes released a statement saying, " This partnership allows both of our organizations to catalyze change in a myriad of sectors and to help craft better lives for those benefiting from the work of the T.D. Jakes Foundation and other community organizations funded by the partnership". 

This development is still in its initial planning phase, and details on opening dates have not yet been determined. FOX54 reached out to the Community Foundation of Central Savannah River Area for a statement. We will update you with that information, once it is received. 

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