Grand Rapids Farmers Market

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Name of Organization Grand Rapids Farmers Market
Address 62817 Great River Road
Jacobson, MN 55752
United States
Phone Number (218) 259-9675

Goal or mission of organization
The mission of the Grand Rapids Farmers Market is to provide children and adults in the Itasca County area with locally-grown food and farm products. We offer a central location to access local, healthy and affordable food. Our other goals include increased education about and support of Itasca area agriculture. The Grand Rapids Farmers Market believes that small, local farms are essential to the local economy as well as local health, and is committed to making economic and educational connections between Itasca area residents and local farmers.
Clientele served Any farmer within a 50-mile radius of Grand Rapids is allowed to join the Farmers Market, as long as all items sold are produced on the farm. Artisans, crafters, and other 'value-added' vendors are voted on by market members, but still must produce their goods within the 50-mile radius.

Our market is open Mondays from 3-6 pm, and Wednesdays and Saturdays 8am-1pm. It is free, open to the public, and offers an array of local goods from up to 40 vendors.
Geographic area served All of the food that we market must be either grown or produced within a 50-mile radius of Grand Rapids, Minnesota. However, we do have a number of customers who visit us while staying at lake homes, cabins, campgrounds and resorts. These folks come mainly from the Twin Cities.

Current state of program We operate a conventional farmers market 3 days a week in our downtown Grand Rapids location. We are a non-profit 501(c)6 corporation (classified as a trade organization or business league, not unlike a chamber of commerce). We offer home-grown and home-made foods and produce sourced from within a 50-mile radius of our location. We are also a source for food education, including recipes and demonstrations, and childhood education on health fruits and vegetables. As a non-profit, we offer access to a broad customer base at a central location for local farmers - access these farmers would almost certainly not have otherwise. And we also provide the community access to food that is more fresh, has drastically less pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and preservatives, and uses much less fossil fuels for shipping than any other food available to consumers in our area.

At this point, we do little to offer access specifically to low income residents as a market, though some individual vendors to accept EBT and Senior Nutrition Assistance. However, we hope to implement market-wide acceptance of food assitance, and are hoping to work more closely with area food banks and pantries, especailly after establishing relationships at this upcoming workshop.

Capacity for local food work We have a wide network of farmers with diverse products: Meats, eggs, fruits, vegetables, preserves, honey and maple syrup, and breads. Our pending acceptance of WIC/SNAP EBT benefits will drastically increase access to these healthy local products. By partnering through organizations like Blue Cross/Blue Shield and its 'Market Bucks' program, Grand Rapids State Bank, with its volunteers and financial expertise, and local grass-roots organizations to promote ourselves to low-income residents, we have a fantastic opportunity to get healthy, local whole foods to those who need them most. The same follows for educating ourselves about the logistics of getting our local food to local food banks and pantries.

Name of contact person Jesse Davis

WIC - Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program

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Name of Organization: WIC - Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program
Address 1209 SE 2nd Avenue
Grand Rapids, Minnesota 55744

Phone Number (218) 327-6155

Goal or mission of organization Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a supplemental food and nutrition program to prevent health problems and to improve the health of participants during critical times of growth and development. The WIC Program provides nutrition education, access to health services, referrals to health and other social services and vouchers for supplemental foods. The food vouchers list the types and quantities of WIC foods that are consistant with participants nutritional needs.

Clientele servedPregant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children up to age 5 who live in the county, meet the income guidelines and who are at nutritional risk.

Geographic area served Itasca County

Current state of program WIC strives to reach women, infants and children who are eligible for WIC and connect them to additional resources when available. WIC is a federal program and is available throughout the USA.

Capacity for local food work In addition to using vouchers at the grocery store, WIC promotes the clients use their WIC vouchers at local farmers markets, refers to Second Harvest Food Bank for MAC boxes,

Name of contact person Paula Butler

Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture

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Name of Organization: Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture
Address 411 Borlaug Hall 1991 Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone Number 1-800-909-6472

Goal or mission of organization "... to bring together the diverse interests of the agricultural community with interests from across the University community in a cooperative effort to develop and promote sustainable agriculture in Minnesota and beyond." -- Local and regional food systems are part of MISA's focus, as a way to build markets for diverse agriculture.

Clientele served Farmers; Extension educators; University faculty, staff, and students; staff and members of non-profit organizations involved in sustainable agriculture and local food systems.

Geographic area served All of Minnesota; but we work most often with partner organizations that include the Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships in 5 regions, including northeast (Cloquet) and central (Staples); and Sustainable Farming Association with 9 statewide chapters, including Lake Superior chapter (Carlton) and Central (St. Cloud)

Current state of program We have several publications that support local food system development: "Local Food: Where to Find It, How to Buy It;" "Marketing Local Food;" and a series of fact sheets on local food regulations (written by MDA with input from MISA and others). We co-sponsor conferences and workshops that deal with local food systems, and provide assistance to other groups that are doing workshops, field days, or other types of training around local food.

Capacity for local food work - Shared staff and office space with Minnesota SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education), which has funding to support several focus areas including local food systems.
- Access to University faculty and staff with expertise in various aspects of food systems
- Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems program that provides special project funds to individuals; funds are available and applications are taken on a 2-year cycle.
- Staff time to assist with finding information, making connections with people or organizations, advising on grant applications; staff expertise in local food systems from the supply side.
- Connections to organizations involved in sustainable agriculture and/or food systems: SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education), Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Minnesota Food Association, Land Stewardship Project, the Minnesota Project, Sustainable Farming Association, Minnesota Grown, Renewing the Countryside, Minnesota Environmental Partnership, Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships.

Names of contact people: Helene Murray, Jane Jewett, Kate Seager

Second Harvest North Central Food Bank

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Name of Organization: Second Harvest North Central Food Bank

Address 2222 Cromell Drive PO Box 5130
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

Phone Number (218) 326-4420

Goal or mission of organization Second Harvest North Central Food Bank's mission is to engage the community to end hunger.

Clientele served Second Harvest serves low income families, children, seniors and disabled adults directly through programs such as the Grand Rapids Food Shelf, Itasca Holiday Program, Kids Packs to Go and USDA Commodity Programs for low income elderly and children. Second Harvest distributes over 4 million pounds of food through these programs and through 145 non-profit hunger relief agencies in the region.

Geographic area served Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Itasca, Kanabec, Koochiching and Mille Lacs counties.

Current state of program Second Harvest distributes food to food shelves that provide groceries to local people in need. Second Harvest also distributes food to non-profits that provide cooked meals to people who come to soup kitchens, youth programs, senior dining programs and homeless shelters. Clients at these agencies are provided with referrals to other sources of food such as food stamps or to other programs that are available for low income people. Nutrition education is facilitated at many locations by local county extension staff.

Capacity for local food work
Second Harvest is connected to all the food shelf and charitable meal programs in the region. We currently provide SNAP (food stamp) outreach to all food shelf clients in the region. There may be opportunities for grants available through Hunger Free Minnesota or other sources. We do not have available staff at this time.

Name of contact person: Sue Estee

University of Minnesota Extension (Farm to School)

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Name of Organization: University of Minnesota Extension (Farm to School)

863 30th AVE SE
Rochester, MN 55902

Phone Number (507) 319-0263

Goal or mission of organization
Farm to School connects nearby farmers and locally grown foods with K-12 students. Locally grown, minimally processed foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, are purchased and prepared, and students learn more about the food they eat, all while helping the local economy.
Clientele served Schools (including foodservice, teachers and school leaders), students, families, farmers, & the greater community.

Geographic area served

Current state of program Farm to School initiatives are growing across the state. I coordinate statewide activities and connect communities with resources while our local educators at the U of M Extension work in depth with farmers, students, schools and communities. For example, our educators work with farmers on business management while others teach students about the health benefits of eating locally through activities like taste testings, gardens and cooking classes.

Capacity for local food workOur Farm to School website includes a wealth of resources, including funding opportunities. One of my roles is to help people connect with each other in their local communities to advance Farm to School. I also respond to the needs of the community by partnering with other organizations to develop needed tools or resources. In April 2011, U of M Extension and the Minnesota Department of Health convened a statewide Farm to School Leadership Team. If significant barriers or needs exist in your area, this 11 member group may be able to help.

Name of contact person: Stephanie Heim

Sustainable Agriculture Project at UMD

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Name of Organization: Sustainable Agriculture Project at UMD

329 Cina Hall 1123 University Avenue
Duluth, MN 55812

Phone Number (218) 349-2956

Goal or mission of organization
The Sustainable Agriculture Project at the University of Minnesota, Duluth (SAP@UMD) formed in 2009 to institute education, research, and community engagement around local food systems and food security in the western Lake Superior region. SAP@UMD is an interdisciplinary faculty collaborative that provides overall leadership and is housed in the Center for Sustainable Community Development. SAP@UMD was awarded stewardship over fifteen acres at UMD's Research and Field Studies Center (formerly the Northeast Agricultural Experimental Station), including a five acre heritage apple orchard and a ten acre field, for which we use as an experiential learning and research site; we also utilize the extensive 20th century agriculture archives of the region housed in UMD's Northeast Minnesota Historical Center for faculty research and student teaching. We work closely with the UMD student group Students for Sustainable Agriculture; and we work with the University for Seniors at UMD. Our institutional partners at UMD include Facilities and Management, the Office of Sustainability, and the Office of Civic Engagement. We also collaborate with a host of community organizations with interests in food, farming and gardening issues and activities.

Clientele served
Depending on the activity (research, teaching, community engagement), we work with university students and community partners in carrying out our mission. We run a portion of the UMD Farm, organize conferences and workshops, and work within and outside of the university on food, farming and gardening issues and activities.
Geographic area served western Lake Superior bioregion

Current state of program We grow local foods on the UMD farm for the UMD Dining Services, providing experiential learning to both students and dining staff in local foods production and procurement. We have organized many public events around food, farming and gardening.

Capacity for local food work We are partnering with a number of area organizations, including the Sustainable Farming Association, the Duluth Community Garden Program, the Institute for Sustainable Future, the Duluth Public School System, etc. The particular activities are tailored to each of the group's interests and our own capacity.

Name of contact person
Randel Hanson

Name of Organization: Get Fit Itacsa/ Itasca County Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP)

Address 400 River Road
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

Phone Number (218) 327-1161

Goal or mission of organization To engage all people in the Itasca Area to make healthy choices and participate in activities that improve their quality of life.

Clientele served Itasca County Residents

Geographic area served Itasca County, we also have a partnership through SHIP with the Northeast Region of Minnesota. There are coordinators within these regions that are also focusing on policy, systems, and environmental changes to combat obesity.

Current state of program Currently we are working within 2 school districts ISD 316, Greenway and 317, Deer River. We have worked with the Food and Consumer Science class in Greenway to integrate Farm to FACS. This is the second year of the program. ISD 317, has embraced increasing healthy opotions for students and currently uses locally grown products in their school lunch program and fresh fruits and vegetables programs. ISD 316 has established a school garden that was panted by the 4th grade and over seen by the Bovey/Coleraine Youth Center for the past 2 years. We are in the process of working with Deer River and the Itasca County Family YMCA to build 2 more gardens that youth will have available to them.

Capacity for local food work With connection to the Northeast Region and multiple partners within Itasca County, I can help with promotion and recruiting of others to participate in the workshop that is being planned.

I see many grants that have to do with encouraging healthy eating and physical activity for disease prevention. By knowing what ideas are out there, I can look for opportunities that might be a good fit.

Name of contact person: Meghan Bown

Minnesota Farmers' Market Association

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Address C/O Deonna Bouska, Operations Manager 18542 Driftwood Rd.
Clearwater, MN 55320

Phone Number (320) 420-1463

Goal or mission of organization: The MFMA...offering services and programs that support and promote Minnesota's farmers' markets.

Clientele served
The MFMA directly serves the needs of Farmers' Markets in Minnesota and the producers, vendors, consumers and supporting organizations that support our member markets.

Geographic area served The MFMA is a state-wide organization organized with Regional Directors appointed to provide assistance on a local level.

Current state of program The MFMA is a non-profit, state-wide supporting organization served by a formal Board of Directors and Advisors. The MFMA is an organization supporting the overall development and enhancement of farmers' markets within Minnesota with the intent of expanding the production and consumption of healthy local foods. The MFMA has a special interest in uniting local organizations, increasing food access within Minnesota's communities and increasing the ability of farmers' markets to accept food assistance programs. Assistance is provided directly to farmers' markets or affiliated producers that are interested in accepting food assistance programs. Currently, through our SNAP program, farmers' markets are receiving financial and technical assistance as they begin accepting SNAP during the 2011-2012 seasons.

Capacity for local food work The MFMA's Board of Directors & Advisory Team is composed of market managers, producers, and leaders from supporting organizations. The board is elected to provide coverage in all regions in order to gather and address local concerns and is supported by a centralized staff department. Strong commitment from our advisors with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the University of Minnesota Extension Services has led to a valuable coordination of resources and knowledge that is available on a personal level. Funding for the MFMA's Food Assistance Programs are accomplished through the provision of grants and partnering organizations, along with in-house contributions.

Name of contact person Deonna Bouska

U of MN Extension Health & Nutrition

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Name of Organization: U of MN Extension Health & Nutrition
Address 1861 E Hwy 169
Grand Rapids, MN 55744


Phone Number (218) 327-5964


Goal or mission of organization Our nutrition education program, Simply Good Eating, promotes healthy lifestyles for people with limited incomes through researched, evidence-based and best practice curricula. We provide these services at no charge to eligible participants through partner organizations.

Clientele served SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps) eligible families, youth and seniors

Geographic area served The northeast region, with an office in Grand Rapids, covers Beltrami, Koochiching, Itasca, St. Louis and Lake counties.

Current state of program We have 9 county-based paraprofessional community nutrition educators who partner with agencies serving limited income families to deliver nutrition education in a series of 6 to 8 lessons. We use facilitated teaching where we ascertain participants' current level of skill, what they want to learn and deliver targeted education to meet their needs.

Capacity for local food work The foundation of our program is the USDA's SNAP-Ed grant to Minnesota's Department of Human Services who sub-contracts with us to deliver the program in 86 of the 87 counties in MN. We divide ourselves into 12 regions with 5-10 counties in each region. USDA funding allows us to teach nutrition education at no cost to partner agencies or participants. The CNEs (community nutrition educators) work directly with participants in each county, Jodi Nordlund, our regional Program Coordinator (direct supervisor of CNEs) has expertise in cooking and commercial food preparation, Betsy Johnson, our regional Extension Educator, has expertise in physical activity, collaboration building and community health education. Betsy & Jodi are available for other projects beyond direct nutrition education.

Name of contact person Betsy Johnson