USDA grant to fund K-State's rural grocery store initiative

November 06, 2007

MANHATTAN, KAN. -- When a small town loses its grocery store, it loses not just an economic driver, but a bit of its identity, too.

"If your store closes, that says bad things about your town and the direction it's headed," said David Procter, director of the Center for Engagement and Community Development at Kansas State University.

To help towns sustain their local food suppliers, the center has begun a Rural Grocery Store Sustainability Initiative, which recently received a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development office.

With that money, the center and its partners, the Kansas Sampler Foundation and the Kansas Rural Center, plan to survey the nearly 200 grocers who serve towns with fewer than 2,000 residents. Then Procter hopes to organize a "rural grocer summit" that will bring far-flung entrepreneurs face to face.

"We've found that these grocers are very independent," Procter said, "but they're also very unorganized, and they don't talk to one another."

Even so, they face many of the same challenges: shrinking population, variable customer loyalty and high fees. One dominant distributor requires stores to order $10,000 of goods each week to avoid a surcharge, Procter said.

In addition to keeping a town's economy healthy, a good grocery store can prove vital to its customers' health. Procter cited a study that showed higher rates of heart disease and diabetes in towns whose only retail food sources are convenience stores.

An interactive Web site for the initiative is in progress; Procter already has fielded e-mails and introduced grocers to K-State faculty and extension experts. "The Center for Engagement and Community Development is in the business of connecting resources," he said.

"Grocery stores aren't the only answer, but they're a big piece," Procter said. "If K-State can provide some strategies to keep small-town stores viable, then I think we've done a pretty valuable service for rural Kansas."
More information is available by contacting 785-532-6868 or A Web site also is available at

Kansas State University

Related Heart Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

Cellular pathway of genetic heart disease similar to neurodegenerative disease
Research on a genetic heart disease has uncovered a new and unexpected mechanism for heart failure.

Mechanism linking gum disease to heart disease, other inflammatory conditions discovered
The link between periodontal (gum) disease and other inflammatory conditions such as heart disease and diabetes has long been established, but the mechanism behind that association has, until now, remained a mystery.

New 'atlas' of human heart cells first step toward precision treatments for heart disease
Scientists have for the first time documented all of the different cell types and genes expressed in the healthy human heart, in research published in the journal Nature.

With a heavy heart: How men and women develop heart disease differently
A new study by researchers from McGill University has uncovered that minerals causing aortic heart valve blockage in men and women are different, a discovery that could change how heart disease is diagnosed and treated.

Heart-healthy diets are naturally low in dietary cholesterol and can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke
Eating a heart-healthy dietary pattern rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, vegetable oils and nuts, which is also limits salt, red and processed meats, refined-carbohydrates and added sugars, is relatively low in dietary cholesterol and supports healthy levels of artery-clogging LDL cholesterol.

Pacemakers can improve heart function in patients with chemotherapy-induced heart disease
Research has shown that treating chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy with commercially available cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) delivered through a surgically implanted defibrillator or pacemaker can significantly improve patient outcomes.

Arsenic in drinking water may change heart structure raising risk of heart disease
Drinking water that is contaminated with arsenic may lead to thickening of the heart's main pumping chamber in young adults, according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

New health calculator can help predict heart disease risk, estimate heart age
A new online health calculator can help people determine their risk of heart disease, as well as their heart age, accounting for sociodemographic factors such as ethnicity, sense of belonging and education, as well as health status and lifestyle behaviors.

Wide variation in rate of death between VA hospitals for patients with heart disease, heart failure
Death rates for veterans with ischemic heart disease and chronic heart failure varied widely across the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system from 2010 to 2014, which could suggest differences in the quality of cardiovascular health care provided by VA medical centers.

Heart failure: The Alzheimer's disease of the heart?
Similar to how protein clumps build up in the brain in people with some neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, protein clumps appear to accumulate in the diseased hearts of mice and people with heart failure, according to a team led by Johns Hopkins University researchers.

Read More: Heart Disease News and Heart Disease Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to