Sprouting local


Kansas communities get a boost for healthier food

Hungry for fresher, healthier food and a stronger community? Kansas State University’s Local Food Systems program offers a helping hand, not just in the form of extra jobs but in the exciting potential to expand local food access across the state.

Over the next two years, 34 paid fellowships will be awarded to Kansas communities, providing dedicated support for projects that strengthen local food networks. The 2024 fellowships have already been awarded. Applications for the 2025 fellowships will open in August or September 2024. More information is available here.

Right now, over 90% of Kansans’ food dollars fly out of state, missing out on economic and health benefits. Imagine — if every Kansan spent just $5 a week on local food, it would result in  a potential $750 million boost for small and mid-sized farms and a healthier diet for everyone!

Kansas communities are already buzzing with local food initiatives, with over 76% represented by local food policy councils. But there’s still room to grow. Enter the fellowships: these paid positions will provide the much-needed muscle to tackle projects like promoting farmers’ markets, engaging schools and communities in local food initiatives, and connecting consumers with local producers.

Every fellowship isn’t just a job; it’s a catalyst for positive change. Increased access to local food means healthier communities, stronger economies and a more vibrant connection to the land and its bounty.

Whether you’re a farmer, a community leader or want to eat fresh and support local producers, this initiative offers a chance to make a real difference for a healthier, tastier Kansas.

Learn more about the current fellowship projects.

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