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Minnesota Food Association

1916 2nd Ave. South
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Phone: (612) 872-3298

Fax: (612) 870-0729

E-mail: odonn011@gold.tc.umn.edu

Contact: Jan O'Donnell, Executive Director

Membership dues: $25/year

Newsletter: MFA Digest, quarterly.

The Minnesota Food Association (MFA) is a thirteen-year-old statewide membership organization. Our mission is to form a coalition of informed, connected and activated urban and rural people who will work together to build a more sustainable food system.

Sustainability has many dimensions. In the arena of food systems work, sustainable describes a food system in which all people, regardless of income or other variables, have access to safe, quality food which is grown, processed and distributed in a manner that supports family farms, viable urban and rural communities, and stewardship of the land and environment.

In the implementation of its work, MFA has consistently valued the ability and wisdom of our members and the community. Through study groups, urban and rural dialogues, supporting the placement of individual members on policy-making boards and advisory councils, and by providing a bridge between the various diverse components of the food system, MFA members have the opportunity to find ways to express their concerns and interests.

MFA Programs (current and under development) include:
  • Local Food Systems: As a result of our work over the last 13 years, in particular our role in establishing the Food and Nutrition Commission, MFA is currently providing staffing and technical support to six diverse communities around the United States who are actively working on issues of food security and food system policy. This 36 month project is currently funded by a major grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Over the last year, MFA has developed a variety of new programs based on the board direction to focus on local food systems in MN. In addition to those listed here, other projects are in the discussion/preconceptual phase.
  • Pathways from Poverty: This initiative is developing a pilot project in two rural communities which will support those communities in creating solutions to address chronic rural poverty. MFA's interest is in assuring that food system concerns and perspectives are part of the future of rural Minnesota.
  • Southeast Asian Farm Project: There is much interest in the Southeast Asian community in Saint Paul to explore the feasibility of relocating Southeast Asian families to farm collectively in rural Minnesota. The project is in collaboration with Lao Family Community and others in the community. It is seen as one vehicle to utilize the work of Future Farmer project.
  • The Next Generation of Future Farmer: Spearheaded by board member Linda Littrell, MFA is exploring ways in which the outcomes identified through the Future Farmer project can be utilized by the Extension Service and FFA groups.
  • Feeding the Saints: This developing collaboration with the Sustainable Farming Association will focus on three colleges and universities in St. Cloud in an effort to expand purchasing of locally produced food by the food services providing meals to students. The project also hope to incorporate issues of sustainability into the curriculum.
  • The Food Group: A coalition of food systems organizations gather to network and develop urban based collaborative projects that intentionally reflect the integration of the food system, including urban gardening and marketing, nutrition concerns and education, food policy and regulation, and access to food.
For more information, please contact the MFA office at (612) 872-3298.

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