Ortonville, MN—People living in rural areas who lack mobility due to age, income and/or illness have trouble accessing quality food at affordable prices. Small town grocery stores struggle to stay open because more affluent residents pass them by to drive longer distances for better variety. Our rural areas have lost their "diversity of opportunity" due to the industrialization of agriculture. A limiting factor in attracting and retaining people in rural areas is the perceived lack of interesting food. Four problems, one solution.
During my fellowship, I plan to reopen a main street café, and offer the kitchen and adjoining annex to local foods producers who wish to create value-added products that could then be marketed through our local grocery store.