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Rural Grocery Initiative

Rural Grocery Case Study

Written by Kylie Rupe

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.”

Each of the case study stores were selected because they are well-managed, community oriented, and looking for ways to serve customers more effectively and efficiently. By participating in this research study, each grocery store will receive $2,000 to be used on a community-betterment project.

Other partners on this national grant include Kansas State University Research and Extension, Kansas State University departments of Agricultural Economics and Human Nutrition, the University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, Affiliated Foods Midwest, NuVal® Nutritional Scoring System, and Loyalty Lane, Inc.

According to Dr. Procter, “Rural communities sometimes struggle to sustain healthy food access. A central piece of community infrastructure that sustains food access is the small-town, independently-owned grocery store. This study will help local grocery stores better serve and meet local residents’ nutritional needs.”