Community Food

Food is a central part of all of our lives. Where our food comes from matters - for our health, for the vitality of our communities, for our wallets, and for the environment.

We work with rural communities to build healthy, sustainable, local food systems. Our goal is to create food production and distribution systems that provide affordable fresh food for all, protect the environment, and keep money circulating in the local economy.

Community food systems take many forms, but they all have the same purpose: to connect the local people who grow and make food with the local people who eat it. At the Center for Rural Affairs, we work on several different ways to connect farmers and consumers. 

Community Food Notes

 

Growing Healthy Food Systems

This issue brief anchors a project to create a food policy council for Nebraska. It is intended to get you thinking about the opportunities and challenges to be faced in developing food policy councils. The data is Nebraska-specific, but you can use the structure and ideas to tackle the same quest in your location.

Good food policy and effective coordination between our food system’s stakeholders will produce strong farms, a resilient food economy, and a healthy future for all residents - whether in Nebraska or your location. Together, we can build a better food system. 

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Sioux Chef Recipes from the Santee Garden and Market Project

Featuring simple cooking with fresh, seasonal ingredients from your garden or farmers market!

Sioux Chef was a crowd-funded project to bring fresh food cooking back to Santee. In 2012, fresh foods were barely available in Santee. New gardens and farmers markets began to change that. These recipes from the Sioux Chef project made newly available fresh foods accessible and useful with simple, tasty, fresh food recipes for all.

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Improving food systems, enhancing lives

Sharon Freemont sits on a stool in the evening, weeding the garden. Sometimes her three grandchildren join her.

The garden is surrounded by high grass, and beyond that, fields, shaded in the evening by a lone tree.

“It’s nice in the evening, I sit, relax and meditate,” Sharon said. “We sit and look at what we’ve done, it’s something we did all by ourselves.”

The family has a small garden at their home three miles outside of Walthill, Neb., on the Omaha Reservation.

Who’s Using the Rural Food Business Growth Helpline?

Last November, with the help of a USDA Rural Business Development Grant, the Center launched the Rural Food Business Growth project providing technical assistance and resources, along with a helpline for rural food growers and food businesses to contact for assistance. This project focuses on five counties in northeast Nebraska: Burt, Cuming, Stanton, Thurston and Wayne.

So, who is using this helpline?