The North Central Kansas Food Council has received a $20,000 grant from the Kansas Alliance for Wellness to complete a regional assessment. The assessment will compile information on access to local foods in the region, as well as the overall health of communities. “This grant is designed to allow communities to determine the changes to their local food system that make the most sense for them,” said Missty Lechner, Advocacy Project Director for the American Heart Association. “These changes could be anything from healthy food guidelines in public places like parks, to financing projects to attract local grocers that sell healthy, locally grown foods. That is what’s so great about this grant. The community decides which type of policies or changes they want to make to increase access to healthy, Kansas-grown food options,” said Lechner.
“There are 31 counties in Kansas with food councils. The North Central Kansas Food Council is made up of a diverse group of public and private stakeholders in a collaborative effort to advocate for enhanced quality of life for all residents through sustainable access to regionally produced food options, economic opportunity, and educational recourses,” said Brenda Gutierrez, NCKFC Chairperson. The counties included are Clay, Cloud, Dickinson, Ellsworth, Jewell, Lincoln, Marshall, Mitchell, Ottawa, Republic, Saline, and Washington. The NCRPC is the project sponsor.
The North Central Kansas Food Council was formed in 2017 as an initiative of the NCRPC and Live Well Saline County and is assisted by Advancing Rural Prosperity, Inc. (ARPI) through its joint partnership with the NCRPC to advance food system development in North Central Kansas. The Council will be working in collaboration with consultants Kolia Souza and ARPI to complete the regional food system assessment. To learn more about the North Central Kansas Food Council or how you can get involved, like them on Facebook or visit www.ncrpc.org/nckfoodcouncil .
The Kansas Alliance for Wellness (KAW) is a statewide network of communities, organizations, and individuals that are committed to improving the health of Kansans by creating healthy food and beverage environments. This project began in July 2013 and is led by the American Heart Association. For more information, visit their website at www.kansasallianceforwellness.com .