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Rural Grocery Initiative

Save the Date!!!!

Our 5th biennial National Rural Grocery Summit will be held June 6-7, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita, Kan. More information and registration will be available soon!

Small Town Grocery with a Twist

In a small, Swedish-based community that boasts a population of 226 people, one grocery store has found a way to meet the unique needs of their community, and beyond. Read more here.

Welcome to the Team, Kolia!

Kolia Souza is the newest member of the RGI team. She is joining us at RGI as a Graduate Research Assistant. Kolia is currently pursuing two Master of Science degrees in Architecture and Community Development. She also holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Textiles and Interior Design. Read more about Kolia here.

AFRI Follow Up

AFRI Interventions Update Kansas State University and the Rural Grocery Initiative (RGI) were awarded a USDA grant to increase healthful food choice in rural grocery stores. The goal of the grant is to generate findings and resources that help strengthen rural communities and their food systems. The project integrates research and outreach to meet its goals. The research component analyzes the distinct and combined impacts of two interventions - nutrition education and a NuVal® Nutritional Scoring System. The outreach component develops a nutrition education curriculum for grocery stores and local community educators to replicate. Read more here.

Chapman, KS Food Mart -  A Hometown Gem

Chapman, KS, a rural town with approximately 1,400 residents, has a reason to celebrate. On February 16, 2015, a full-service grocery store called the Chapman Food Mart, opened. The store is owned by Doug Thompson, a local attorney, and operated by Ann and Kenny Bush. Read more about the store here.

RGI Working to Increase Healthful Food Options in Rural Grocery Stores

Rural communities often struggle to sustain core economic, nutritional, and civic needs. A central piece of the infrastructure sustaining rural regions is the small-town, independently owned grocery store. These stores are a source of healthful foods to the local food system, a source of jobs and taxes for the local economy, and a community asset in citizen recruitment and retention. Yet, these grocery stores often struggle to stay in business. Read the full story here.

Community Food Council Hosts Panel Discussion about Grocery Store Opportunity

The South Hutchinson-Reno County Food Policy Council hosted a panel discussion Jan. 29 about options for a new grocery store in the community. Approximately 60 residents responded to the public invitation. Read the full article here.

Salina Hosts Meet and Greet to Discuss Local Food System

Community members in Salina, Kan. took the first step to examine their local food system at the Meet, Greet, and Eat-Local! event that took place Thursday, Jan. 29. Approximately 180 people attended to meet and get to know those involved in the program. They sampled local foods and listened to a panel discuss topics relevant to the city and surrounding county’s food industry.

High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal: Few Things are Better than Small-town Grocery

The High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal recently published a story on small town grocery. Read the full article here.

Project 17 Iola Event

Project 17 and the Center for Engagement and Community Development kicked off the Small Business Marketing and E-commerce Assistance project in Iola, Kansas on Friday, November 7.  The audience was Project 17 area growers, producers, processors or manufacturers of food or agribusiness products and makers of unique, artisan products.  The project purpose is to assist local businesses to increase in sales and grow.  Funding came from the USDA Rural Development Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program.

Ag Minute: Kansas Grocer forms unique relationship with local farmers

Produce items adorned with oval-shaped gold stickers at Hiawatha Thiftway, located in northeast Kansas, are grown by local farmers. Store owner Tim White partners with the local farmers’ market to bring these locally grown foods into his store.

Rural Grocery Case Study

The Hired Man’s Grocery and Grill in Conway Springs (KS), The Onaga Country Market in Onaga (KS), and Gosch’s Grocery in Randall (MN) have been chosen as case study grocery stores for a national grant funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The grant is organized and managed by Kansas State University’s Center for Engagement and Community Development.  According to project director, Dr. David Procter, “The project focuses on highlighting the healthy food options available in local grocery stores and will provide nutrition education on site to help customers make healthy food choices.”