North Country Food Alliance


Increasing Access, Reducing Waste


Fresh Berries

We received boxes of these beautiful berries from Trader Joe’s. As overstock items, they couldn’t be sold in the store. Unfortunately, many businesses throw away perfectly good food such as this.


The Problem

Fresh fruits and vegetables are vital to a healthy diet. However, a diet rich in fresh produce is more expensive than one high in processed foods, making it cost-prohibitive for many people. In addition, fresh foods (which spoil relatively easily) are more difficult for food shelves and soup kitchens to carry.



Percent of our food is wasted



Billion pounds of food goes into the landfill annually



Million Americans Face Hunger


Meanwhile, food waste is a huge problem in the US. It is estimated that between 30 to 40 percent of our food ends up in a landfill, or about 133 billion pounds annually (source). With 41 million Americans facing hunger (source), this is an unconscionable misuse of resources.

Our Impact

Every week, we pick up surplus food from grocery stores and distribution centers across the Twin Cities. All of this food would otherwise be thrown away, either because it’s overstocked or visually imperfect. Much of it is fresh produce, which is often less available to those in need. Food donors in 2019 include Trader Joe’s, United Noodle, St. Vincent de Paul, Urban Organics, and more.

For a full list of recent food donors, see our partners page.



Days a week, we deliver food to charities that serve people in need



Thousand pounds of food saved every week



Organizations served in the Twin cities metro area


In order to serve communities that are the most disadvantaged, we partner with local nonprofit organizations such as soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and food shelves. Our work provides them with reliable access to fresh foods. 2019 food recipients include Keystone Community Food Shelf, Community Emergency Service, VEAP, and Groveland Food Shelf.

For a full list of recent recipients, see our partners page.



Building Urban Food Sources


Each spring we build and maintain community gardens in working class neighborhoods in the Twin Cities. These gardens do not follow the traditional model of leasing out parcels to individuals; rather, everything is communally worked, and the produce is free for community members to enjoy. We offer donation-based workshops, giving people the opportunity to learn how to grow their own healthy food, and hold neighborhood events to bring people together. Any surplus produce goes toward our foodshare program.

When NCFA first began, we built gardens at our office and in community member’s yards. Our program has since expanded; we now take advantage of Minneapolis’ program of leasing vacant lots for the purpose of growing food. We started one such garden in North Minneapolis in 2017; this is now our sole garden project. If you live in the area and are interested in volunteering, please contact us!


Community Meals

Cooking Together, Serving Food


In August 2018 we purchased a commercial food truck, which we will use to serve free healthy meals, teach free cooking classes, and cater community-oriented events that align with our mission and values. Keep an eye out for our food truck in working class neighborhoods all around the Twin Cities!