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K-State Today

September 24, 2019

CECD hosts regional rural grocery workshop

Submitted by Isabelle Busenitz

The first in a series of workshops for rural grocery owners and operators was hosted Sept. 18 in Kingman.

The Center for Engagement and Community Development partnered with K-State Research and Extension in Kingman to host rural grocery owners, grocery distributors and community leaders in a one-day workshop focused on enhancing sustainability of the rural grocery store.

Topics included a forum on rural grocery operations, funding sources for rural development, building the knowledge base for rural grocery, and nutrition education resources for grocery stores. Grocers had the opportunity to network to find solutions to challenges they are facing in competing with discount retailers, building excitement about their stores in the community, and sharing what is working in their stores. Grocery stores serve important functions in rural communities. They provide community members with a place to purchase healthy foods, jobs and a place to connect. In many rural communities, the grocery store is an anchor institution, along with banks, schools and health care centers.

The Rural Grocery Initiative at the Center for Engagement and Community Development has been involved in the conversation of rural grocery since 2006 and continues to expand the conversation to address issues that are important to rural communities and their grocery stores. The initiative hosts a biennial National Rural Grocery Summit, with the next one scheduled for June 8-9, 2020. The initiative plans to host additional Regional Rural Grocery Workshops this fall and continuing next spring. The next workshop is planned for Parsons, Kansas, on Nov. 14. Visit the website for information on the summit and workshops.

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