1. Kansas State University
  2. »Division of Communications and Marketing
  3. »K-State Today
  4. »Rural Grocery Initiative to co-host National Rural Grocery Summit in Montgomery,...

K-State Today

October 24, 2023

Rural Grocery Initiative to co-host National Rural Grocery Summit in Montgomery, Alabama

Submitted by Hannah Jenkins

Since 2008, the Rural Grocery Initiative has hosted the biennial National Rural Grocery Summit in cities across Kansas, most recently in Wichita in 2022. The summit has grown from its humble beginnings of about 50 grocers in 2008 to more than 200 people from 35 states in 2022.

The National Rural Grocery Summit is the premier networking and resource-sharing venue for independent grocers and rural food access stakeholders. It brings together grocery store owners and managers, community leaders, food suppliers, academic researchers, healthy food access stakeholders, policymakers and funders to connect, share lessons learned, and innovate around best practices for sustaining locally-owned rural grocery stores and improving access to healthy food in rural communities.

In 2024, the National Rural Grocery Summit will be held outside of Kansas in Montgomery, Alabama, and will be co-hosted by the Rural Grocery Initiative at Kansas State University and the Hunger Solutions Institute at Auburn University.

"We're excited to be hosting the summit in an entirely new state and new region of the country," said Rial Carver, program leader of the Rural Grocery Initiative. "We know that challenges in maintaining rural grocery stores exist across the country. Our hope is that Montgomery, Alabama, will provide an opportunity to reach a new audience of rural grocers and stakeholders while still connecting with rural food access stakeholders that have helped make the summit what it is today." 

"The Hunger Solutions Institute is excited to co-host the National Rural Grocery Summit and showcase what the Southeast is doing to support rural grocers," said Alicia Powers, director of the Hunger Solutions Institute. "As a past attendee of the summit, I know what a valuable event this is for grocers, stakeholders and resource providers. Make plans to join us in Montgomery!"

For individuals and organizations interested in presenting at the conference, a call for proposals will be sent out in November 2023. Registration for the summit will open in spring 2024. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

For more information on the Rural Grocery Summit and sponsorship opportunities, visit ruralgrocery.org/summit.