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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Young Santee Artist Grows Hobby into Income

Shaylana Lewis, a proud member of the Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska, first learned to bead at the tender age of 11 by Donelle La Pointe, her Dakota language teacher from Marty, South Dakota.

Now 19 years old, Lewis is still beading. She says beading brings her to a calm and positive state. Lewis beads jewelry such as earrings, necklaces, rings, headbands and does custom orders. But what originally started out as a hobby has now turned into a lucrative opportunity to make a small income on the side. 

Food Environment on the Rural Great Plains

Jon M Bailey looks at food access and security in rural and non-rural counties of the Great Plains. 

Food is a major component of health and healthy living. Consumption of healthy foods and a balanced diet will limit obesity, accompanying health issues, and premature death. But not all people have equal access to healthy foods or live in a healthy food environment.

Kids and Carrots

Nothing says happy and healthy like an image of children gardening, harvesting, and eating carrots, beets, cabbages, cucumbers, etc. The Summer “Out of School” Program students in Fremont, Nebraska got to do just that when they helped create an After School Garden at Linden Elementary in Fremont.