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Center for Engagement and Community Development

Rural Grocery Initiative (RGI)

Contact: David Procter, 785-532-6868, dprocter@ksu.edu


rgiRGI was initiated in 2006 to address the rapid and steady decrease of local grocery stores throughout rural America. RGI is a community/institution initiative that combines the resources of multiple university departments and centers, nonprofits, rural grocery stores, and government agencies. RGI works to identify and develop new models of community capacity building, promote rural business development and sustainability, and enhance food security in rural areas. A variety of action research has followed from the establishment of RGI, including mapping food distribution networks to creating an Internet food brokerage system, developing "buy local" education campaigns, and building an extensive web presence. RGI has proved vital in helping sustain rural communities in Kansas. If the community has the desire to open and maintain a grocery store, the initiative can help strengthen the success of the business. For demonstrating "principles of good practice," RGI was awarded the 2010 Outstanding Program Award at the Community Development Society International Annual Conference.


Year-round, with a biennial summit



Program Partners:

More than 200 rural grocery stores; Kansas Sampler Foundation; Kansas Rural Center; Center for Rural Affairs; USDA Rural Development; Kansas Department of Commerce; Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development

Institutional Impact Area(s):

K-State Dept. of Horticulture; K-State Dept. of Agricultural Economics; K-State Dept. of Human Nutrition; K-State Research and Extension; A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications at K-State; K-State Dept. of Ag. Communications; K-State Dept. of Sociology


Rural communities and grocery store owners


C. Peter Magrath Award Finalist; Community and Economic Development; College of Agriculture; College of Arts and Sciences; K-State Research and Extension