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Center for Engagement and Community Development

News Features

Third National Rural Grocery Summit to Be Hosted

summit 2012The Center for Engagement and Community Development (CECD) and Kansas State University will host the third national Rural Grocery Summit. The summit will take place in Manhattan, Kan. on June 5 and 6, 2012 at the Hilton Garden Inn. This year's summit will address the challenges and opportunities that rural grocery stores are facing. The Rural Grocery Summit is an extension of CECD's Rural Grocery Initiative (RGI). RGI works to strengthen rural stores and communities nationwide.

"The Rural Grocery Initiative and the Rural Grocery Summit have become the 'go to' sources of the latest and best information regarding rural grocery stores and rural food access," said David Procter, CECD director, "Our third national summit will attract hundreds of people from all across the United States.

The summit will cover various topics such as the latest research on grocery ownership models, funding opportunities for rural food retail, best grocery practices from around the country, and how to use the summit's resources for future success. The Rural Grocery Summit will provide storeowners and resource providers an opportunity to network and share experiences with a diverse group of stakeholders.

"Our committee can't thank K-State and the sponsors of the rural grocery summit enough," said Jean Roberts, 2010 summit participant, "K-State has seen a need and is taking great strides in producing a solution. K-State is a "Hero" to the many small rural communities located in food deserts."

RGI started in 2008 in response to the critical loss of rural grocery stores and its devastating economic impact on communities. Rural grocery stores provide access to healthy nutrition, local jobs, and a center for community sustainability. Once a rural grocery store closes, it has the potential to shut down a rural community's infrastructure.

K-State and RGI believe that the Rural Grocery Summit is a critical step in pursuing this national issue.

"We are very excited to bring this important conference to Manhattan and Kansas State University," said Procter.