Expanding Healthy Food Access by Strengthening Social Capital
Kansas State University's Rural Grocery Initiative (RGI) conducted a study exploring rural grocery stores' relationship with its local community, also known as its social capital. The study sought to answer the questions, "How is the local grocery store integrated into the community?" and "What difference does it make if the local grocery store is connected to the life of the community?"
This study anticipated that the more connected the local grocery store is to the community, the more the community will patronize the store; and the higher the community's own social capital, the more likely the community will patronize the local grocery store.
- Survey respondents who have higher levels of trust, who feel that they are part of the community, or who have a sense of community pride shop more frequently at the local grocery store.
- Survey respondents who feel that the town is welcoming to newcomers or who believe that local leadership has a vision for the community shop more frequently at the local grocery store.
- As survey respondents' income or education decreases, the likelihood that they spend the majority of their grocery dollars at the local grocery store increases.
Project Team: Kolia Souza, Dr. David Procter, Ph.D, Rial Carver, Spencer Clark, Ph.D