Film and panel discussion in Nebraska City to focus on innovative approaches to fresh food access

Release Date: 



Sandra Renner, project associate,, 402.687.2100 ext. 1009; or Rhea Landholm, brand marketing and communications manager,, 402.687.2100 ext. 1025

NEBRASKA CITY, NEBRASKA – A free showing of Food Frontiers, a short documentary film that focuses on innovative approaches to fresh food access, will be presented on Thursday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. at the Kimmel Education and Research Center, 5985 G Rd., in Nebraska City.

Presented by the Center for Rural Affairs, the film highlights projects aimed at securing food systems in different areas of the country, starting with Circle C Market in Cody, Nebraska.

A panel discussion following the film will be led by Mark Winne, a national food policy council writer, trainer, and speaker, and senior advisor at John Hopkins University School of Public Health.

Panelists with expertise in Nebraska food systems include: Chef Nazim Khan, executive chef, Bryan Medical Center; Kathie Starkweather, farm and community program director, Center for Rural Affairs; Megan McGuffey, food systems Ph.D. candidate, University of Nebraska-Omaha; Nancy Williams, executive director, No More Empty Pots; and Rex Nelson, regional food systems extension educator, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.  

“Food and economic security in rural communities directly relate to community development,” said Sandra Renner, project associate at Center for Rural Affairs. “We found, in Nebraska, residents spend nearly $5 billion annually on food, and approximately 90 percent of that money leaves the state. Community discussion and innovative problem solving can help close the gap on what we see as a vulnerability in Nebraska’s food system.”

The Center for Rural Affairs study prompted a deeper look into Nebraska food systems. In 2015, staff hosted a public panel and discussion alongside Winne centering on strong, regional food systems and how food policy councils inform the public and policymakers. As a result of the dialogue, partners from across the state formed the Nebraska Food Council, and prompted a statewide community food assessment. The report will be released soon, and highlights will be presented during the discussion to provide a snapshot of Nebraska’s current food system.

“All Nebraskans have a stake in the food system, because we all eat,” Renner said. “This film shows replicable ways for communities to tap into their local strengths and depend less on the large-scale global food system to meet their needs. Our panelists will share their experiences on how they’re tackling this here at home.”

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