OSU to take part in rural nutrition project

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio State University is taking part in a project to help isolated communities increase availability of nutritious food.

The university's extension service said the project will focus on what the U.S. Department of Agriculture calls "rural food deserts" -- those areas of the state where a substantial number of people are far from supermarkets.

Ohio State says the team is testing the theory that communities with local food policy councils will have less of a hunger problem than those that don't. Improving food pantries is one of the project's main goals.

The five-year, $4 million grant program is called "Voices for Food." It's led by South Dakota State University and also includes researchers in Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Nebraska.