Food preservation events help residents enjoy healthy eating year-round

With the surge in local community gardens and farmers markets, food preservation is making a big comeback and Minneapolis is poised to help folks get in on the action. Minneapolis and the Food Preservation Network (FPN) are offering low-cost, community canning events as part of the City's efforts to improve health by helping residents to grow, buy and preserve produce.

The canning events, dubbed Community Can-Alongs, are the direct result of an FPN survey of 376 respondents pinpointing barriers residents have in preserving produce when it is fresh and affordable. The "Can-Alongs" will take place in the next few weeks at the following locations:

Sunday, September 19 (canning tomatoes)
Midtown Global Market, Lake Street & 10th Av.
Two shifts: 1-3:00 p.m. or 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Monday, September 20 (canning tomatoes)
St. Olaf Community Campus, 2901 Fremont Av. N.
Two shifts: 3:00-5:30 p.m. or 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Thursday, September 30 (canning apples)
Calgary Church, 3901 Chicago Av. S.
One shift: 6:30 – 9 p.m.
In tandem with Crossroads Community Organization and South of Lake Farmers Market

Saturday, October 2 (canning apples)
Waite House, 2529 13th Av. S.
One shift: 1-3:30 p.m.
Instruction in Spanish available

With the assistance of the University of Minnesota’s Extension Service, FPN trained 19 community food preservation guides to provide canning instruction and coordinate community, food preservation events. The project will offer instruction in Spanish at one location and hopes to offer events and classes in Hmong and Somali in the future.

The food preservation events are funded by the Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support’s Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP), which aims to help residents live longer, healthier lives by reducing the burden of chronic disease.

Both the FPN and food preservation events grew out of recommendations made by the City's Homegrown Minneapolis initiative, which aims to increase the production, distribution and consumption of locally-grown foods.

There is a $5 registration fee that includes produce (apples or tomatoes), jars and instruction, but space is limited. To register visit http://foodpreservationnetwork.net

For additional information contact Ana Micka at ana@foodpreservationnetwork.net or (612) 741-6437.

Published Sep. 16, 2010