Monday, December 06, 2010

Rural Kansas copes with fewer grocery stores

In Kansas, rural residents are sometimes living in a "food desert," reports Jill Wendholt Silva for the The Kansas City Star. On average, rural residents in Kansas travel 10 or more miles to reach a supermarket or supercenter. The Center for Engagement and Community Development at Kansas State University found that 82 out of 212 rural grocery stores in communities with fewer than 2,500 residents have closed since 2007.

Competition from large retailers and the economic downturn have caused many local grocery stores to shutter. For new ways to create access to healthy food, "I think the answer is looking at more innovative models instead of trying to replicate what is no longer there," said Diana Endicott, president of Good Natured Family Farms, an alliance of 160 small family farmers that supply Kansas City’s suburban Hen House stores. Among the possibilities: a church offered its building to be a distribution location for fresh food; creating community co-ops where residents organize and manage the store; or a virtual store where the food ordered online is picked up at a local library. (Read more)

Additional Information: The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a report to Congress, "Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food; Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and Their Consequences."

Slate mapped the results of the USDA report.

1 comment:

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