Community Food News

New Era for Local Grocery Store

When the grocery store in Elwood, Nebraska, closed in January 2012, Sharlette Schwenninger and LeahAnn Brell went into action.

Schwenninger and Brell are Village Board members and leaders on the Chamber of Commerce in Elwood, a rural town of 707 people in south-central Nebraska. Determined to bring groceries back to Elwood, they scheduled a community meeting and distributed a community interest survey door to door.

Survey Gauges Interest in Local Food

Nebraskans spend $4.4 billion annually on food with 90 percent of that money leaving the state. A new Center for Rural Affairs report finds an opportunity to turn that around.

In a joint project with the University of Nebraska and the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society, we asked consumers, producers, institutions and grocery stores about their experiences with locally produced food and their views on regional food systems. Project funding came from USDA's Federal State Marketing Improvement Program. 

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