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Sources: Dan Kahl, 785-532-6868,;
and David Procter, 785-532-6868,

Monday, July 19, 2010


MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University's Center for Engagement and Community Development is being honored for its Rural Grocery Initiative with the Outstanding Community Development Program award from the International Community Development Society.

The award recognizes outstanding community development programs that use principles of good practice as adopted by the society. It will be presented at the society's 2010 international meeting, July 25-28, in New Orleans.

"This award is due to the efforts of K-State faculty, extension professionals, nongovernmental organizations and citizen leaders from across the United States to come together to address important rural grocery store challenges and sustainability models," said Dan Kahl, K-State Extension liaison to the Center for Engagement and Community Development.

The Rural Grocery Initiative began in 2007 with a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development.

"The original focus was on Kansas rural grocery stores, but it soon became apparent that this was a national issue affecting economic development issues, food access issues and community sustainability issues," said David Procter, director of the Center for Engagement and Community Development. "We found that rural grocery stores are a critical piece of the infrastructure that sustains rural communities."

Significant outcomes from the initiative include six white papers detailing grocery best practices, two rural grocery summits, a virtual grocery store owner forum and the website,, which serves as a national clearinghouse.

The initiative also has involved K-State faculty research from the departments of horticulture, forestry and recreation resources, agricultural economics, human nutrition, communications and history, as well as the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, the College of Human Ecology, and county-based K-State Research and Extension professionals.