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

 

Digging in: Supporting a healthy, sustainable food future in Omaha Nation

This report documents the current state of the food system on the Omaha Reservation and identifies strategies and areas of consideration to enable the Omaha people and their neighbors to move toward realizing self-reliance of their food system. As part of the Omaha Nation Food System Initiative, the Center for Rural Affairs, alongside the advisory committee, interviewed and surveyed those living on the Reservation. Data was gathered on the current state of their food system in an effort to build a community-wide understanding of the impacts of this food system on the community.

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Center for Rural Affairs January and February newsletter

This edition of our newsletter focuses on genuine OPPORTUNITY for all to earn a living, raise a family, and prosper in a rural place.

Brian writes about current opportunities that may be slipping away from rural citizens. As they stand at the time of print, both tax bills in Congress benefit the wealthy and large corporations, while doing little for everyday people and small town development.

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Access points can connect communities with food

How do we increase healthy, fresh foods in rural America? One way is to identify new opportunities for people to access food. Here are five suggestions for your community.

1. Mobile grocery stores or veggie vans are refrigerated vans or trucks that bring affordable produce into communities at a certain time and day. The stores can be an effective way to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to communities that may not otherwise have access to such produce.

Bee connection: Sticking landowners and beekeepers together

This summer, huge green peppers were picked out of Joette Novak’s garden – the most she’s ever seen.

She attributes this success to the bees placed on her land.

Joette, a landowner near Brainard, Nebraska, participates in a Center for Rural Affairs and University of Nebraska at Lincoln project that connects women beekeepers and women landowners for environmental and economic benefit.

Gardening system first of its kind on Omaha Reservation

This summer, a member of the Omaha Nation implemented a new gardening practice that could substantially improve the amount of vegetables grown each season on the Omaha Reservation.

Suzi French, along with her husband, Davin, has installed a high tunnel system on their farm, outside Walthill, Nebraska.