Businesses encouraged to grow produce for food shelves

The City of Minneapolis is recruiting Minneapolis businesses and organizations to grow nutritious food for local food shelves through a program called Giving Gardens. A charitable twist on community gardens, Giving Gardens benefit people in need and help improve employee wellness for businesses that participate.

A Giving Garden can grow in the ground, on a raised bed, or even in straw bales in parking lot stalls, so businesses have opportunities to get creative and help others in our community. Many families in Minneapolis rely on food shelves, and food shelves play an important role in improving the health of their clients by offering healthy food options, including fresh foods and vegetables. But healthy items are not regularly donated and are often expensive for food shelves to purchase on their own. That’s where businesses can step in to help by growing and donating healthy food.

The Minneapolis Health Department and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota will present a two-hour workshop for businesses and organizations interested in having a Giving Garden. At the workshop, folks can learn more about starting a Giving Garden, learn how Giving Gardens benefit employees and worksites, hear from model garden worksites, and get information about resources that are available.

9:15-11:30 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 27
East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center, 2307 17th Ave. S.

For more information or to RSVP, e-mail Vish Vasani or call 612-673-3861.

Gardening and growing food can help employees get exercise, learn more about nutrition, ease stress and anxiety, connect to nature and get involved with their communities. A Giving Garden can help worksites have healthier employees, provide an opportunity for team building, and create better relationships with each other and the community. The community also benefits from better access to healthy food, which can help lower the risk of obesity and other chronic diseases.

Businesses can still help local food shelves even if they can’t start a garden. Look at the Healthy Food Shelf Network website for ideas.

This project is supported by the Minneapolis Health Department with Statewide Health Improvement Program funding from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Published Feb 26, 2014