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

 

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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Regional Food Systems in Nebraska: Views of Consumers, Producers and Institutions

Nebraskans spend $4.4 billion annually on food, and 90 percent of that money leaves the state. We have an opprtunity - and a need- to create comprehensive regional food systems in Nebraska that include farming and community gardening, processing, storage, distribution and transportation, and food access. The opportunity comes from positive attitude toward local foods and the growing national emphasis placed on food security, health and the environment.

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Creating Buzz About Pollinators

As wild habitat continues to disappear from the landscape, so too do wild pollinators - the native bees, bats, birds, and butterflies that are dependent on this floral diversity to survive and thrive.

This wide-scale decline has triggered alarm for good reason: we need pollinators to eat and live. They are responsible for 85% of the world’s flowering plants, including more than two-thirds of the world’s crop species, according to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Unci Maka (GrandMother Earth) Public Market Returns

The Santee Unci Maka (GrandMother Earth) Public Market will return to the Santee Sioux Reservation on July 25 at the Ohiya Casino and Resort from 11:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m. The market will be held every Saturday from August through October.

Along with fresh, locally grown produce (grown right in Santee), much more will be available. You'll find fresh baked goods including Amish goods, Indian tacos and other prepared foods, jams and jellies, and hand-made Native American crafts.

Let’s Talk Food Policy

Amy Radding, former Rural Community Foods Systems Specialist at the Center for Rural Affairs and currently a grant writer for us, contributed this article.

What governs our food system? In the United States, we have a huge array of laws, policies, and regulations at the federal, state, and local levels that affect how food is grown, processed, labeled, and sold, all the way from the farm to your plate. Collectively, this is called “food policy.”