Impact and Programs
In 2019, The Food Group made significant progress toward our mission of fighting hunger and nourishing our community. In collaboration with around 250 hunger relief partners, we distributed 8.1 million pounds of food to people experiencing hunger in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. Food distribution was split between our Food Shelf Support (85%) and Fare For All (15%) programs. To promote nutrition, we distributed 1.7 million pounds of fresh produce. With respect to Big River Farms, 16 farm teams completed our farmer education program.
The Food Group will consider its work successful in fiscal year 2020 if we achieve the following goals:
1. Increase the health and racial equity of local food shelves and meal/snack programs.
2. Ensure that more Minnesotans can eat affordable, healthy, and high-quality foods.
3. Create a stronger and more inclusive support system for emerging organic farmers.
4. Integrate Twin Cities Mobile Market into The Food Group’s portfolio of programs and gain program efficiencies through shared staffing and facilities.
In response to the Covid-19 public health emergency, our goal is to distribute healthy food and other basic household items to families with children, seniors, and adults.
Community or Constituency Served
The Food Group reaches 2.3 million people experiencing hunger in 30 counties in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. As a food bank, we partner with 185 hunger relief organizations to distribute nutritious, culturally appropriate foods to diverse communities. In addition, our Fare For All social enterprise purchases fresh foods in bulk and passes on the savings to customers, who receive discounts of up to 40% off grocery store prices. Other programming includes Big River Farms and Twin Cities Mobile Market. Twin Cities Mobile Market is a market on a bus that brings affordable groceries directly into Twin Cities neighborhoods that don’t have easy access to healthy foods. Big River Farms helps farmers from diverse backgrounds gain the education and skills needed to start organic farm businesses.
At The Food Group, we believe everyone deserves access to foods that are familiar to them and fit their cultural and dietary needs. The Food Group is focused on providing culturally specific food so more members of the community can access hunger relief services that are relevant to them, regardless of their race or ethnicity.
To promote racial and cultural equity, The Food Group distributed over 435,000 pounds of culturally specific foods in 2019. At the same time, we offered cultural competency trainings and self-assessments to food shelves, as well as trainings for SuperShelf partners on how to advance cultural competency when working with volunteers.
Geographic Area Served
The Food Group serves diverse communities in 30 counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Geographic area served are as follows.
FOOD SHELF SUPPORT: Anoka, Beltrami, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, LeSueur, McLeod, Pierce (in Wisconsin), Pine, Polk (in Wisconsin) Ramsey, Rice, Scott, Sherburne, St. Croix (in Wisconsin), Washington, Wright
TWIN CITIES MOBILE MARKET: Hennepin and Ramsey
FARE FOR ALL: Anoka, Aitkin, Blue Earth, Carver, Chisago, Crow Wing, Dakota, Goodhue, Hennepin, McLeod, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Pierce (in Wisconsin), Ramsey, Rice, Sherburne, St. Croix (in Wisconsin), Stearns, Steele, Wabasha, Washington, Watowan, Wright