North Dakota Rural Grocers Initiative
Over the past few years, the rural development department of the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (NDAREC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development had been receiving an alarming amount of phone calls from rural grocery stores asking for help; loan and grant money for operating costs, equipment repairs, etc. Stores had been closing which prompted the question: Has there been a shift in the rural grocery store industry?
To address this issue, grocers and other stakeholders were invited to participate in a steering committee to generate plans, ideas and resources. These efforts resulted in a successful grant award through Rural Economic Area Partnership Investment Fund, Inc. applying, as the fiscal agent, to the Consensus Council for $10,000 for a rural Grocer’s event. A rural grocers meeting took place in Mandan in January. The Final report,next steps and presentations are available for review.