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


Farm to School Enriches Our Community

Due to COVID-19, local foods have become a buzzword. More farmers are utilizing direct to consumer marketing strategies to reach customers through online sales, community-supported agriculture (CSAs), and farmers markets. Is there room for schools in these markets? Farm to School can be concentrated in the procurement of local foods for the cafeteria as well as in outdoor and agriculture education programs.

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Contest aims to get more local produce into school cafeterias

Nebraska will be defending its regional title in this year's Crunch Off competition, where schools across the nation devour locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables.

Justin Carter, project associate with the Center for Rural Affairs, is encouraging all school districts, and even families if kids are learning remotely, to sign up and start planting. On Oct. 22, kids will take bites of their favorite produce, and the state with the most "crunches" per capita wins.