The James Beard Foundation and Food Tank developed the Good Food Org Guide that highlights nonprofit organizations that are doing commendable food, agriculture, nutrition, health, and hunger work in the U.S. Only nonprofit, scholarly, and municipal initiatives have been selected to spotlight efforts that are focused on community building and engagement, advocacy, and service. Below are five organizations located in Minnesota.

1. Gardening Matters

15 years ago, Gardening Matters began as a collaboration of three organizations and dozens of community garden leaders to support community gardens and the people who make them happen. 

 

Since then, they have demonstrated how the community garden contributes to community building, healthy food access and food sovereignty, mental health, and wellness.

2. Homegrown Minneapolis Food Council

Homegrown Minneapolis is a citywide initiative expanding the Minneapolis community’s ability to grow, process, distribute, eat, and compost more healthy, sustainable, locally grown foods. Homegrown Minneapolis assimilates partners from local government, area businesses, community organizations, non-profits, and residents to build a healthy, local food system.

Homegrown Minneapolis is about creating a local, healthy, and sustainable food supply that will positively impact the city and region in the following areas:

 

●        Economy

●        Health

●        Food security

●        Environment

●        Social cohesion

●        Food safety

 

A local food system supports small farms and local jobs, creates new business opportunities, and encourages the re-circulation of financial capital within the city.

3. Midwest Food Connection

Midwest Food Connection is a leader in healthy youth development in the Twin Cities. The organization offers food education to students and their families. They teach hands-on lessons that empower youth to make healthy choices for their bodies, their communities, and the land. MFC focuses on three main areas:

 

1.      Health. Through hands-on cooking, studying, and tasting fruits and vegetables, students develop a love of real, whole, locally-grown foods.

2.      Environment. When growing their own food, learning about the impact of their choices on the environment, and visiting local farms, students become good stewards of the environment.

3.      Life skills. Students learn self-sufficiency and develop healthy habits that last a lifetime.

4. Minnesota Food Association

The mission of the Minnesota Food Association (MFA) is to build a sustainable food system based on social, economic, and environmental justice through education, training, and partnerships. 

 

Minnesota Food Association works to build a more sustainable food system by operating an educational farm and the Big River Farms food hub to support beginning farmers from diverse backgrounds in starting organic farm businesses. In addition, the farm serves as an educational resource offering Youth and Family Programming, continuing education through a farm conference designed to be accessible for all farmers, and on-farm events.

 

The focus of MFA includes:

 

●        Providing education, training and technical assistance in sustainable farming, marketing, business planning, identification, and use of resources.

●        Building partnerships, with funding sources, government and university agencies, nonprofit organizations, businesses and individuals to increase public awareness through communication, public events and farm visits.

●        Marketing directly with consumers through operating a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and retail and wholesale accounts and connecting farmer trainees with their own markets.

5. Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture

The Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA) brings together the diverse interests of the agricultural community with interests from across the University community in a cooperative effort to develop and promote sustainable agriculture in Minnesota and beyond.

 

MISA believes that agriculture is a system in which the land, the people, and the production of food are interwoven. One aspect of the system cannot be changed without influencing all of it. MISA believes that all efforts to improve agriculture should take care to balance the long-term economic, ecological and social effects.

 

MISA believes that people of diverse interests who work together cooperatively can produce a positive effect that is greater than the sum of their individual efforts. This positive effect is known as synergy. MISA's intention is to create opportunities for people to work cooperatively on issues of sustainable agriculture in a way that promotes synergy.

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