CHARITON, Iowa -- Grocery giant Hy-Vee is branching out from its food-selling roots to restore houses in a small southern Iowa town in an effort to attract and retain workers.
The Des Moines Register reports that the grocery store chain is renovating at least four homes in Chariton. The company and its subsidiary Midwest Heritage Bank have given $250,000 to the Chariton Valley Regional Housing Trust Fund.
The company employs about 1,300 workers at a local distribution center and another 75 employees at its Chariton grocery store.
City officials say the aging housing options in the town of 4,300 make it difficult to attract employees.
Mike Armstrong is chairman of the trust fund board. He says volunteers are doing most of the labor on the first project to cut down on costs.