Biting into food access

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By addressing key issues in food, farm, small business and community-level and institutional policy, there is potential to identify strengths, changes needed, and gaps in the food system.

Good food policy and effective coordination between food system stakeholders will produce strong farms, open new or existing markets that are difficult to access, cultivate a resilient food economy, and preserve a healthy future for all rural Americans.

A food system is a large and complex structure that contains many smaller, overlapping systems. A lot of discussion has been held about how best to define “local” in “local food.” Similarly, as communities begin to think about their local foodsheds, or the physical geography required to feed a given population, the boundaries and definitions of those foodsheds may vary and overlap.

In our newest report, we took a look at the overall food system in our home state. In Nebraska, more than $4.4 billion is spent annually on food and 90 percent of that comes from outside of the state. The food system is reliant on other areas of the country, the strength of their food systems and local economies, and the availability of their natural resources to feed its population.

We discuss demographics, agricultural production, consumption and access and food waste patterns. Across the country, you may find similarities in your own food systems and we hope you’ll be inspired to take a look at the food landscape of your communities.

— Sandra Renner, Center for Rural Affairs

Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic and environmental issues.

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Community Calendar

March 22, 2019 at 2:00 am | Western News •Fri., March 22, 7 p.m.: Kootenai Karacters present “The Music Man” at the Libby Memorial Events Center. Live theater and orchestra from local actors/actresses and musicians. Proceeds go to support y...

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Public meetings

March 22, 2019 at 2:00 am | Western News •Tue., March 26, 2 p.m.: The Libby Asbestos Superfund Advisory Team meeting in Helena at the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Metcalf Building, 1520 E. 6th Avenue, Rm. 111. Attendees...

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Scholarship deadline April 12 for KVCS

March 22, 2019 at 5:00 am | Western News Kootenai Valley Christian School is offering scholarship applications for the 2019-2020 school year. The deadline for submitting applications for the ACE scholarship will be Friday, April 12. Schol...

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Larry Ledum

March 22, 2019 at 5:00 am | Western News Larry J. Ledum, 74, formerly of Libby, died on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at his home in Mead, Washington. A full obituary will appear in a later issue and services will be announced. Arrangements are ...

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