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K-State Today

November 13, 2015

Kansas Health Foundation supports K-State's Rural Grocery Initiative

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

K-State's Center for Engagement and Community Development has received a $328,000 grant from the Kansas Health Foundation to support the center's rural food access work.

The Rural Grocery Initiative is one of the center's programs to build campus and community partnerships around significant issues facing Kansans and Kansas communities. 

"For about eight years, we've been working to help strengthen food access in rural communities by working to sustain independently-owned rural grocery stores," said David Procter, the center's director. "These stores play a critical role in sustaining the social fabric of small Kansas towns and provide a source of healthful foods, local jobs and taxes, as well as a community asset for citizen recruitment and retention."

The Kansas Health Foundation grant will help the center explore the possibilities and elements of a food-access technical-assistance collaborative and a food-access learning laboratory. The technical assistance will focus on three interrelated healthy food access challenges: 

  • The challenge of strengthening retail grocery business practices while expanding healthy food options, especially in rural parts of the state,
  • The challenges of increasing the reach of Market Match, a SNAP local foods incentives program, and
  • The challenges of expanding the number of WIC- authorized retailers, especially in rural counties and communities.

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