The Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) in Minnesota help connect cities with resources to strengthen local food economies. Submit an idea to RSDP to request support for a community-driven project for local food.
Healthy Food, Healthy Communities (PolicyLink, 2011) provides strategies for communities to increase access, work with local businesses, and connect local farmers to customers.
The Good Food Purchasing Program provides a metric-based, flexible framework that encourages cities and other public institutions to direct their purchasing toward five core values: local economies, environmental sustainability, valued workforce, animal welfare, and nutrition.
Communities can support corner convenience stores to encourage healthy eating habits through the sale of fresh and local fruits and vegetables. See Healthy Corner Stores Guide(USDA 2016), and examples and resources from Healthy Food Access.
The USDA Healthy Food Financing Initiative provides grants to improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas, create and preserve quality jobs, and revitalize low-income communities.
The MDA’s Good Food Access Program provides grants to rural grocery stores, corner stores, and other small food retailers to purchase equipment and make store improvements that will help increase access to healthy, local food to underserved community members.
TheSafe Routes Partnership has resources to help cities create neighborhoods with safe routes to all kinds of destinations, including sources of local food.
Developing safe routes to healthy food by improving sidewalks, bike trails, and public transit routes can improve access and buying potential. See BP 12: Mobility Options.
Rural & Co-op Grocery Stores:
Rural grocery stores are anchor businesses in communities of 2,500 or fewer residents that provide a full range of fresh, frozen and shelf-stable foods. To gain a deeper understanding about this sector, RSDP worked with the UMN Center for Survey Research to conduct a statewide survey of rural grocers in 2020.
Document and provide information to the public about city efforts to increase purchases of food with at least one of the following attributes: local, Minnesota-grown, organic, humanely raised, grown by fairly compensated growers; support a Local Food Campaign and document outcomes.
Report increased sales of local/etc. food through groceries and restaurants; document increased institutional buying of local/etc. foods by schools, hospitals, nursing homes and event centers; document increased percent of households able to access fresh fruit/vegetables within 20-minutes walk, bike, transit travel of their home. Report mobility improvements under BP 12.
Adopt the Good Food Purchasing Program as a city, school district, or other public institution; implement a Healthy Corners Initiative and/or incentivize local businesses to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for sale; create a city health/nutrition policy with healthy/local food goals and implementation plans. Report food system assessments and plans under BPA27.5.
Who's doing it
Brainerd - 3 star
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The Farm to School program delivers local foods to the Brainerd School District schools. This enhances the local foods industry and promotes healthy eating among school students.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Pounds of local foods sold, and number of students exposed to local foods.
Lakes Country Service Cooperative started a food hub for the school districts they serve. Meadow Farm Foods, Premier Meats and Seafood and The Market all sell locally grown food products in their local stores.
River Market Community Co-op is a consumer cooperative located downtown Stillwater, committed to selling fresh, local, and organic produce and naturally-raised meats.
Axdahl Garden Farm and Greenhouse is a farm in Stillwater licensed by Minnesota Grown and certified by Food Alliance Midwest, that has wholesale accounts local grocery stores, restaurants, and distributors.They can be viewed at www.axdaflfarms.com
Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2012
Fond du Lac Ojibwe School has an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy that includes a requirement to "maximize the proportion of goods and services that come from local providers with acceptable environmental practices, thereby reducing the environmental impact of transportation wherever feasible and supporting a sustainable local economy".
Fond du Lac is currently gathering input from a food purchasing practices survey to gauge interest in locally grown produce, meat, and specialty items.
Promotion of Local Food. A number of restaurants that promote and use local foods. The Angry Trout is the primary restaurant that is almost exclusively local, and actively promotes it. A local dairy processes non-pasterized products for local sale.
Organic foods are sold by Jordan's grocery store, Radermachers. While all residents have access by car, the city has made improvements to its sidewalk and trail system allowing the majority of residents access via trails or sidewalks.
The local meat market, Pekarna's, sells locally sourced meat to at least three local restaurants.
The city initiated a local foods campaign in the summer of 2012 in partner with the city's internal wellness committee. The final action for the campaign was a spotlight on local organic foods. A local foods brochure was included in the seasons. The city also created a website dedicated to local food production in the area.
In 2019, a local affordable food guide was created for Maplewood that will be distributed through various local institutions.
The City's Farmers and Winter Market are licensed to be a wholesale food handler to aggregate available product from local farmers and sell to local institutions. Richfield is the only site undertaking this process in the Metro (there are 8 total in the state).