HEALTHY FOOD SHELVES
Supporting food shelves' efforts to provide healthy food to people in need
An increasing number of Minneapolis residents are relying on food shelves across the city to meet their basic grocery needs. If food shelves aren’t providing healthy food options, it may be difficult or impossible for clients to purchase or find nutritious foods on their own due to cost and limited availability. Food shelves that offer a wide variety of healthy food options, like fresh produce, whole grains, and low-fat, low-sodium, and low-sugar items, can help meet clients’ nutritional needs and contribute to better individual and community health.
In 2012, the Minneapolis Health Department formed the Minneapolis Healthy Food Shelf Network, a collective of more than a dozen food shelves, food banks, and other hunger relief organizations committed to increasing the amount of healthy food options available for individuals and families in need. Specifically, Network partners are working together on the following key issues:
- Healthy food procurement: establishing systems to increase healthy food purchases and donations (especially of fresh produce) from local farmers, gardeners, and retail stores.
- Donor communications: developing messages and materials to encourage donors to give healthy items.
- Client education: increasing awareness of, and demand for, healthy foods by providing nutrition education to food shelf clients and encouraging healthy choices.
- Healthy foods policies: assisting food shelves in creating and implementing organizational policies and practices that support healthy food purchases, donations, and distribution.
- Brian Coyle Center
- CAPI Asian Food Shelf
- Community Emergency Service
- Good Works Food Shelf
- Little Kitchen Food Shelf
- New Creation Baptist Church
- North Point Health & Wellness
- Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church
- Sabathani Community Center
- Salvation Army (various Minneapolis locations)
- Second Helping Food Shelf (FOCUS Minnesota)
- Senior Food Shelf
- Waite House
Food banks and hunger-relief partners:
- The Network launched the www.healthyfoodshelves.org website to communicate with potential food shelf donors and encourage them to support their local food shelves by giving healthy items or financial donations.
- The Network's 2013 Plant an Extra Row campaign connected 114 community and backyard gardeners with local food shelves, resulting in more than 700 pounds of fresh produce donations.
- 13 Network partners have enhanced their physical space by using display baskets, colorful signage, and recipe cards to make healthy items more visible and attractive to clients.
For Food Shelves - Join the Healthy Food Shelf Network
- Network meetings occur on the 3rd Thursday of every other month at a different food shelf site. All are welcome! (2014 meeting schedule)
For Food Shelf donors - Support your local food shelf
- Donate healthy items like fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, low-fat/sodium/sugar canned or prepared goods, and 100% fruit juice.
- Host a healthy food drive at your school, place of worship, or neighborhood event.
- Make a financial donation to help food shelf staff purchase healthy items at wholesale prices.
- Visit www.healthyfoodshelves.org for more ways to support your local food shelf.
- For more information, contact:
- Healthy Food Shelf Network meeting notes
- Tips for procuring healthy foods
- How to encourage healthy food donations
- Ideas for increasing client demand for healthy food
- Resources for developing a healthy foods policy
- Additional healthy food shelf trainings, toolkits, and resources
Last updated Nov 24, 2014