Small Towns

Rural communities hold the keys to survival in their own hands. With help from policies that build on their strengths as desirable places to live and raise families, they can thrive.

Community Development

To thrive, rural communities must invest in themselves and their futures, including rural schools and rural leaders.

Community Food Systems

Local farmers markets, community gardens, and local and regional food systems provide fresh, healthy food for all and keep money circulating in the local economy.

Rural Groceries

Small towns across rural America are losing their grocery stores, and we’re working to help groceries stay around.

Small Towns Notes

 

Hispanic Population Gains Offset Rural Out-Migration, Keep Small Towns Bustling

My town, Fremont, Nebraska, population 26,000, has an aging population. We’re no different from many small and midsized towns across rural America. By 2017, 31% of Fremont’s residents are projected to be 55 or older.

A new population of Latino immigrants has been moving to the quiet town since the late 1970s. In 1990 there were only 223 Latinos in Dodge County, where Fremont is the county seat. That number increased to approximately 1,400 in 2000 and more than 2,500 in 2012.

SNAP Benefits and Rural Households

Our newest report looks at the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (formerly known as food stamps) by where people live. SNAP is a program of the United States Department of Agriculture and offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net.

Our report Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Rural Households makes the following findings based on federal Census Bureau data:

New Art Grant Celebrates a Lively Rural Culture in America

Last month we learned the Center for Rural Affairs received one of 55 grants awarded by ArtPlace America this year. The grant supports creation of a public artwork in four neighboring towns in northeast Nebraska. A visiting artist will be on hand to help guide the projects. And in the autumn of 2015, we’ll celebrate the completed works with a grand tour!