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 (MHD) 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:
- Read the 2014 Summary Report of Goals, Strategies, and Accomplishments!
- The Network's 2014 Plant an Extra Row campaign connected 10 food shelves with nearly 400 pounds of fresh produce donations from local gardeners. For more information, view the summary report and program timeline.
- In 2014, 8 food shelf 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.
- MHD staff co-hosted two metro-wide healthy foods policy workshops and created written resources to educate food shelves on how to create their own organizational policies.
- Network partners worked together to develop and share initial recommendations for ways in which Minnesota food banks can improve healthy food policies and practices, including clarifying food redistribution rules.
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! Click on the link for the 2015 meeting schedule. The Healthy Food Shelf Network meeting notes are found here.
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:
- 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 Feb 11, 2015