Our Mission: Fighting Hunger. Nourishing Our Community.
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.
What We Do
For more than 40 years The Food Group has worked to provide good foods to those who need it most in our community. We focus on local food access, equity, and nutrition issues related to food and hunger in more than 32 counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The Food Group works on both ends of the food system from production to distribution. Working towards building a better local food system for all, we focus on breaking down barriers to growing good food locally and breaking down barriers to getting good food to those who need it most. Our programs include:
Food Shelf Support – We partner with 170 food shelves and meal programs to offer distribution of donated food, bulk purchasing (supplements the variety and quantity of donated food they receive), TEFAP food distribution (a government commodities program), nutrition education and resources, capacity building support, and culturally equitable food and resources.
Fare For All – We operate a traveling nutritious grocery store, which makes monthly stops at 37 distribution sites across the Twin Cities and greater MN to offer fresh produce and quality meats. We break down barriers for families seeking to stretch their food purchasing power and achieve self-sufficiency by offering discounts up to 30 percent off retail prices.
Big River Farms – Our newly acquired programming offers organic and sustainable agriculture education for local immigrant and historically underserved farmers. It also creates market opportunities for the participating farmers (via a CSA, farmer’s markets, and wholesale markets), provides educational programming on sustainable agriculture to children and community members, and hosts an annual Emerging Farmers Conference.
Equity Values Statement
Equity is fundamental to our mission to fight hunger and nourish our community. Where we live, how much money we make, or the color of our skin currently influences access to healthy and culturally-appropriate foods. We must address the roots of these inequities so everyone in our community has the opportunity to live their best life. We believe in working with our community and organizations to improve food access and make systemic changes in hunger relief. To do so, we must include equity in all aspects of our work. We invite individuals from different abilities, ethnicities, genders, races, religions, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic backgrounds to take part in and shape our work
Same Great Work with a Great New Name
Emergency Foodshelf Network changed its name to The Food Group in September 2014. After much consideration and thought our Board of Directors and staff embarked on a process to change our name. Emergency Foodshelf Network no longer describes the depth and breadth of what we do in the community. We provide food and other resources to our food shelf partners but we also have direct food access programs. The Food Group conveys both our values and our innovative programming.