Support Our Stores (SOS): Initiating Multi-State Response to Rural Grocery Store Crisis
See proposal abstract
Principal Investigator: Kathy Draeger, University of Minnesota
Co-Principal Investigator: Jody Bruns, North Dakota State University; Ren Olive, University of Minnesota
Rural grocery stores, those located in communities with a population of 2,500 or less, are closing at unprecedented rates, the impact of which is being felt throughout rural communities nationwide. These closures are often permanent and new owners and stores are not replacing those that are shuttered.
The impact of these closures results in limited access to a full range of healthy grocery items, decreased Main Street businesses, reduced community assets and vitality. This project seeks to identify, recruit, and orient Extension research and outreach to supporting the remaining grocery stores, piloting this in MN and ND. The goal of this project, Support Our Stores (SOS): Initiating Multi-State Response to Rural Grocery Store Crisis, is to develop a grant proposal to increase land-grant university capacity to help stem the epidemic of rural grocery store closings in Minnesota and North Dakota, and to provide a framework for other regions to address a similar problem.
This planning project will harness multi-state insight, experience, and expertise through the collaboration of the University of Minnesota (UMN) Extension and the North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension services. The “SOS” planning team will: 1) conduct a Situation Assessment and identify available resources, 2) use project planning meetings with ND and MN to define goals and objectives, and, 3) complete a full grant proposal and budget.