South Dakota State University in Brookings won top honors and millions of dollars from the United States Department of Agriculture.
USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan delivered the news on State's campus on Wednesday.
SDSU was chosen to lead the six-state, $4 million research project to help feed low-income people in isolated communities.
“Poor nutrition today doesn't necessarily result in starvation, but it results in chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease or cancer,” Suzanne Stluka with SDSU Project Lead said.
The project will focus on connecting food pantries with locally sourced, healthy foods.