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OUR MISSION: FIGHTING HUNGER. NOURISHING OUR COMMUNITY.
What We Do
The Food Group is a local nonprofit focused on using nutritious food to strengthen community. We work at the intersection of food access, equity, and nutrition issues related to food and hunger in 32 counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Our programs include food shelf and meal program support, a healthy and affordable grocery sales program, and a farmer education program for farmers historically underrepresented in farm ownership learning to operate organic farm businesses. We believe nutritious food strengthens our community by creating better health outcomes and providing the foundation needed to thrive.
Our work is guided by these values:
- Food is a basic right for all individuals.
- Everyone deserves access to healthy food, where they live, that they can get to.
- Everyone deserves access to foods that are familiar to them and fit their cultural and dietary needs.
- Working collaboratively with other community organizations drives our mutual success.
- Operating in a way that supports equity, sustainability and fairness to all builds stronger communities.
The Food Group believes that food, especially nutritious and fresh food, is an essential right. Healthy foods are an important part of a diet that reduces the risk of chronic disease. Individuals on limited budgets tend to have higher rates of diet-related health problems and limited access to healthy foods, especially quality fresh fruits and vegetables. For many people, healthy foods are one of the first items cut when their budgets are tight. To address this issue, The Food Group has a strong focus on nutrition as a core value and all of their programs work to make healthy foods accessible. The Food Group has healthy food guidelines for what foods they will accept and distribute. Their focus on fresh produce includes buying, gleaning, growing, and processing through many partnerships in the community.
Equity is fundamental to The Food Group’s mission to fight hunger and nourish our community. Since 2005, The Food Group has offered food shelf and hunger relief partners culturally specific foods and capacity building resources on cultural competency. With the recognition that ending hunger requires more than providing healthy, culturally appropriate foods, The Food Group’s board approved an Equity Value Statement, which defines their commitment to address race and class inequities. For the past several years the team of staff has been developing a racial equity framework and implementing strategies to advance equity both internal and external to the organization.