Healthy Meals Coalition
Increasing healthy food and beverage options in emergency meal programs
Many low-income residents across Minneapolis rely on local emergency meal programs to supply one or more of their daily meals. Meal program providers are interested in offering their clients nutritious food options, but are often constrained by limited budgets and a lack of time and resources.
The Minneapolis Healthy Meals Coalition is designed to support meal program staff and volunteers in their efforts to increase healthy food options and ensure that whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, and other nutritious foods are regularly served to clients. Specifically, the health department and its partners are focusing on:
- Collaboration: Convening partners regularly to discuss common challenges and potential solutions for increasing availability of, and demand for, healthy foods.
- Education: Providing information to chefs, program staff, and volunteers about the importance of healthy foods and offering suggestions for healthy recipes and cooking practices.
- Communications: Creating promotional materials to prompt clients to make healthy food choices.
- Policy change: Developing and implementing healthy food policies to help guide meal programs’ decisions and actions.
- Convened a kick-off meeting and 3 site visits to different meal program sites. These site-visits offer partners an opportunity to network, observe program operations and healthy food practices, and participate in discussions about challenges and promising practices for increasing healthy meals.
- Facilitated group discussions during site visits about priority issues including healthy food sourcing, healthy recipes and meal preparation, donor communications and outreach, volunteer/staff training, and client awareness/demand.
- Going forward, the Minneapolis Healthy Meals Coalition will provide technical assistance to interested partners to help them address organization-specific issues and challenges related to providing healthy meals. Meal program managers are very eager to work on key issues and are actively engaged in the process of shifting norms within their meal program to provide nutritious meals for their clients.
- Meal programs in Minneapolis are in need of volunteers that are interested in preparing healthy meals for clients. Contact one of our partner sites, listed above, to learn more.
- Do you or someone you know visit a meal program in Minneapolis? If so, tell your meal program provider that you would like to see more healthy foods served at their facility. Healthy options include well-balanced meals that meet the MyPlate nutrition guidelines and emphasize whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as low-fat, low-sodium, and low-sugar ingredients.
For more information, contact:
Nora Gordon, Public Health Specialist
MyPlate nutrition guidelines
Should you require a reasonable accommodation in order to fully participate, or information in an alternative format, please contact 612-673-2301.
Para asistencia 612-673-2700 - Rau kev pab 612-673-2800 - Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500
Last updated Jan 25, 2017