Enhancing Local Food Systems in Kansas

By Payton Tholstrup

Last fall, a $750,000 grant was given to Kansas State University for local food systems. According to River Valley Extension District, a food system is “everything that is part of ensuring people have the food they need to survive and thrive – from processing, distribution, consumption, and food waste management.” If it involves food in some way, it is part of the food system. It must serve the values of enhancing the environmental, economic, social, and nutritional health of the location and those who live there.

Across Kansas, many communities are forming councils and groups to discuss local food and farming opportunities. Others have completed food system assessments and plans. The conversations around food systems are increasing. To learn more: https://www.ncrpc.org/nckfoodcouncil/

The Kansas Local Foods program is planning 10+ roundtable sessions around Kansas, where community members can share experiences and provide feedback on their community’s goals and needs. Those who work in the food industry, like grocery stores, restaurants, school food systems, etc., are encouraged to join the conversation.

The River Valley District will be hosting a roundtable in Clay Center on November 6th, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Dinner will be provided for participants. You can RSVP by calling the Clay County Extension Office at 785-632-5335.

If you cannot attend in person, town halls are also held on Zoom and are open to anyone in Kansas. They are held at 11:00 a.m. on the fourth Wednesday of January, April, July, and October. They are also recorded, so if you miss them, you can go back and watch at any time. To register or watch archived videos: https://www.ksre.k-state.edu/kansaslocalfoods/get-involved/town-halls.html

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