Local Food Policy
The City of Minneapolis has taken deliberative action to improve and support the complex network of people, facilities, and processes that make up the local food system.
The City’s Role
Though city government neither grows, processes, nor distributes food, its policies and regulations can foster (or inhibit) a hospitable environment for these activities within, and surrounding, its city limits. The City of Minneapolis can create the environment needed to sustain a strong local food system by setting citywide policies and regulations, especially in the areas of land use, zoning, and food safety. In addition, the City of Minneapolis can direct financial and human resources; convene stakeholders; and coordinate local foods efforts and information -- all of which can greatly impact residents’ and businesses’ abilities to grow, sell, distribute, and consume healthy, local food.
The Homegrown Minneapolis initiative begins to address these dynamics and the specific role of the City in growing the local food system.
City Policies and Programs
- Community Garden Pilot – Leases are available for community gardens on 22 City-owned lots. These 22 lots were selected for their "non-buildable" qualities, so they will remain available for years of gardening.
- The Minneapolis Plan for Sustainable Growth addresses Community Gardens, Local Food, and Nutrition (chapters 5 - 7)
- City Hall food vendor contract
- Local foods in restaurants
- The City of Minneapolis offers its employees the opportunity to participate in a Community Supported Agriculture program each summer.
- EBT at farmers’ markets – The Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support, in partnership with Homegrown Minneapolis, is currently working to develop and implement a citywide Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system in all farmers’ markets and mini-markets throughout the city. This system will allow residents to use food stamps to buy fresh fruits and vegetables at any market in the city. Currently, the Midtown Farmers’ Market and the Minneapolis Farmers’ Market offer EBT to their customers.
- Small Enterprise Urban Agriculture – The City of Minneapolis, along with community partners, offers a number of small business training and financing opportunities to hopeful local food entrepreneurs.
- Compost for community gardens The Division of Solid Waste and Recycling offers free compost to community garden through its Community Garden Compost Program.
- Green Jobs – The City has included local food as part of its green jobs sustainability indicator.
Last updated Aug 14, 2012