A Black-owned banking institution has stepped in to support New Orleans residents living in food deserts.

ESSENCE reports that Hope Credit Union (HOPE) has joined forces with the City of New Orleans and Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority (LAFA) in a partnership with Canesco Properties to financially back an expansion deal that provides more access to high-quality, affordable food in Canesco’s Market, a newly constructed grocery store.

The investment reportedly totaled $2 million, which HOPE was a part of, the outlet details.

“The City of New Orleans is a proud investor in Canseco Properties through our Fresh Food Retailer Initiative (FFRI),” Mayor LaToya Cantrell said, according to ESSENCE. “Since its inception, FFRI has invested over $13 million to bring fresh food access to underserved communities. Sinesio Canesco provided the Gentilly community with its first full service grocery store following the devastating impacts of Hurricane Katrina.”

She continued, “I applaud Mr. Canesco’s strong commitment and great contribution to our city and look forward to Canseco’s continuing its impact throughout our communities by expanding our people’s access to fresh, affordable, healthy food. We are grateful to Hope Credit Union and Mr. Canseco for supporting and understanding the need of this critical resource for our people.”

In addition to serving over 21,300 residents, the new market is set to provide new jobs to the community.

The ultimate mission of the project is to empower residents with both health and financial wellness.

“The communities we serve are vulnerable to food droughts and unhealthy food options. We are happy to open another store that provides the high-quality shopping experience our customers deserve,” Sinesio Canseco, owner of Canseco Properties, said, according to the outlet. “Since our founding, we have aimed to create a friendly neighborhood market with products for the needs of each community. Our collaboration with HOPE, the City of New Orleans and LAFA is making that more possible each day.”