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

 

Biting Into Food Access: A View of Nebraska’s Food System

In Nebraska, more than $4.4 billion is spent annually on food and 90 percent of that comes from outside of the state. Nebraska’s food system is reliant on other areas of the country, the strength of their food systems and local economies, and the availability of their natural resources to feed its population. 

By addressing key issues in food, farm, small business, and community-level and institutional policy, there is potential to identify strengths, changes needed, and gaps in the food system. Good food policy and effective coordination between food system stakeholders will produce strong farms, open new or existing markets that are difficult to access, cultivate a resilient food economy, and preserve a healthy future for all Nebraskans. 

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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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Report, recommendations are steps in making Nebraska more food secure

More than $4.4 billion is spent annually on food in Nebraska, with only 10 percent expended on products grown and processed in the state, according to a report recently released by the Center for Rural Affairs and the Nebraska Food Council.

“Biting Into Food Access: A View of Nebraska’s Food System” provides background research describing the current food system in the state, taking a look at state-level and national-level data.