Arlington, VA (May 12, 2021) - National Cooperative Bank (NCB), a leading financial institution dedicated to providing banking solutions to cooperatives and socially responsible organizations nationwide, recently closed a $1.35 million loan which will help community members have better access to healthy food and medical supplies.
Kwigillingok a Native village in western Alaska, has no roads leading into it and only be reached by boat or airplane, which restricts transportation and shipping. The village is also a food desert, making the sole grocery store a critical resource for the community. NCB partnered with the Borough of Indian Affairs and Continental Industries to finance a new store to be built and barged up to the village, allowing Kwik Inc. to become bigger, safer, and more convenient.
Kwik, Inc. has historically served as the village hub because it is the only place to get groceries and other general supplies. Its original size did not allow Kwik Inc. to offer several important goods, which forced many villagers to pay to fly out of the village for necessary household items like medical supplies. With the $1.35 million loan from NCB, the store will more than double in size and relocate to be much closer to the center of town, which improves stock availability and accessibility for residents.
NCB also connected Kwik Inc. with a local buying cooperative that grants them better access to fruits and vegetables. “The old village store was in significant disrepair and as such the village was not able to offer adequate levels of fresh foods for the villagers,” said Jesse Janssen, Vice President of National Cooperative Bank. “This effort in addition to the larger, safer store will significantly improve overall quality of life for everyone in the village.”