Eight rural communities across Kansas will share $120,000 in grants over the next year to find ways to improve access to fresh produce.
Many rural grocery stores have closed, or are struggling to survive. In St. John, Kansas, the only grocery in town closed last year. Now the nearest full-service food store is 29 miles away.
The Sunflower Foundation is issuing the grants to St. John and other communities to help them figure out how to foster local access to fresh food.
Sunflower’s Elizabeth Stewart Burger says the strategies in each community receiving a grant may differ. So improving the availability of fruits and vegetables might mean getting grocery stores to partner with schools and hospitals to boost purchasing power.
Editor's note: The Sunflower Foundation Provides funding for the Kansas News Service.