Thank you for your support of North Country Food Alliance! We hope this newsletter finds you well, gives you a sense of what we are up to, and illustrates our goals for the coming seasons.
Our main program- foodshare- is going strong! We now partner with over a dozen different organizations all around the Twin Cities. We’re focused on moving produce to improve the health of those receiving the food. Food shelves are always grateful to accept fresh produce in order to supplement the non-perishables they usually receive. We pick up and deliver on the same day, so the food is as fresh as possible. Just this June, we moved over 20,000 pounds of food!
Here are the stores and recipients from the last quarter:
East Side Co-op
Seward Co-op Friendship Store
Old Home Foods
St. Vincent DePaul
*Urban Organics has sadly closed its doors. We received our final donation from them in May. We have huge gratitude for all the support they've shown us!
Community Emergency Services
Marie Sandvik Center
Little Earth United Tribes
Groveland Food Shelf
Volunteers Engaged in Assisting People (VEAP)
Center for Victims of Torture
The Food Group
Our Saviors Housing
Project for Pride in Living
Mounds Park Methodist
Everything’s coming up cucumbers! Just kidding, we’re growing way more than cucumbers. Folks from the neighborhood have been harvesting carrots, beets, collards, kale, strawberries, and other goodies. But there is so much growing right now that NCFA workers Maria and Mae picked 20 pounds of kale and Swiss chard to donate to the Northpoint Health and Wellness food shelf in the neighborhood. Wow, that’s a lot of greens!
We currently have eight rectangular raised beds and sixteen circular raised beds in production. Ten of these circular raised beds are brand new from the Minnesota State Horticultural Society’s Garden-in-a-Box Program, as well as over two tons of soil and compost to fill the beds, and various plants and seeds to grow in them. We are very grateful to our friends at the MN Horticultural Society for granting us all these items for free!
Our board member, Emmett, also graciously volunteered his labor to build us eight additional raised beds! These will be filled with soil and planted, hopefully in time for a fall harvest. However, our garden budget is empty at the moment, so we need donations from you, our supporters, to help it flourish! Please make a contribution using the donate button below.
We are always happy to have more hands involved in the garden. If you live in North Minneapolis and would like to harvest some produce or otherwise get involved, please get in touch!
Our food truck is requiring more work than anticipated, and a few hiccups have set the project back for the moment. First of all, the brakes were damaged and the truck had to be towed after a mechanic’s shop installed an incorrect part. The part in question cost over $1,000, which for a small nonprofit such as NCFA is a significant portion of our budget. The other problem arose with the fire inspection, in which we were told that we would need to purchase an additional $1,700 worth of equipment to bring the truck up to code. These two unforeseen expenses have put the food truck way over budget. We are currently applying to grants and researching other funding sources to get the food truck fully operational. (We’re also considering scaling down the program… see below for more details!) However, nearly all of our money comes from individual donations. We rely on community support from people like you to expand this and our other programming. Please give generously using the donate button below.
NCFA is in Transition!
★ We moved offices! (And rent is lower than our previous office, yay!) Our new address is:
North Country Food Alliance
2920 Bryant Ave S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
★ You may have noticed that we have a new website! It can be found at www.NCFA-MN.org. We’ve also changed our emails to this domain, so our new general email is now info@NCFA-MN.org. But don’t worry, our old website and email addresses will continue working for a while.
★ We’re hiring! Please submit a resume to canvass@NCFA-MN.org if you’d like to join our team. The entry position is field canvassing, and we’d prefer people with canvass or sales experience. As a worker-run nonprofit, all employees get a say in how NCFA is managed, and everyone gets a chance to participate in program work. We do things differently- come try it out! For more details, see this job posting.
★ We’re developing new ideas on how to best serve our communities! Check out more details below, and please feel free to respond to this email with ideas of your own.
Ideas, Goals, and Dreams
One thing we realized is that we would like to have a closer connection to the folks that receive the food we redistribute. We’ve built relationships with volunteers at the food shelves, but rarely see the people that actually benefit from our work. To start, we came up with a questionnaire for the organizations distributing the food, so as to learn more about the population they are serving. From there, we’d like to dig deeper into the experiences of the individuals and families that end up with this food on their tables. Stay tuned as we continue to learn more about the impact of our work!
Our garden has seriously expanded this year, with help from the Minnesota State Horticultural Society. Similarly to our foodshare program, we know the food is getting to those who need it most, but we don’t actually get to interact much with those folks. This season, we are looking into what other community organizations are working in the neighborhood, so as to enhance collaboration and expand our connections in the community. We’re also thinking about ways to engage the neighborhood with workshops, grill outs, and other community events.
We’re rethinking the best way to serve the community with our meals program. Our focus for a while now has been to obtain a food truck, drive it around the city, and dish out meals; but it’s been a long and expensive process. So now we’re asking ourselves, would it be better to put that money into a modified program? One plan would be to use community kitchens already in existence to serve free food on a weekly basis. We already have connections with many community centers and nonprofit organizations through our foodshare work, so a meals program could slide right in.
What do you think? How can food justice programs from a small nonprofit best serve the community? We’d love to hear your ideas!
Support Our Work
NCFA is a small nonprofit that depends entirely on the generosity of the community to share healthy food with those in need. With your help, we feed thousands of people every week. Please use the button below to donate online and sustain our programs!