The Food Group History Timeline

  • 1976 – Hennepin County Emergency Food Shelves founded.
  • 1977 – Food distribution begins to 15 food shelves. Offices located in Sabathani Community Center in South Minneapolis.
  • 1986 – Name changed to Emergency Foodshelf Network (EFN).
  • 1996 – Food distribution expands beyond Hennepin County and throughout the Twin Cities metro.
  • 1999 – Mobile Food Shelf program launches. Free staple foods are delivered to residents of subsidized housing.
  • 2002 – Fare For All joins EFN. Fresh produce and frozen meats become more accessible and affordable.
  • 2004 – A 65,000 square foot warehouse is purchased in New Hope, MN.
  • 2007 – EFN adopts strong focus on fresh produce and culturally specific foods.
  • 2013 – EFN honored by Philanthropy Partners as #1 local hunger organization focused on health and nutrition.
  • 2014 – Name changed to The Food Group (TFG), a play on words, to emphasize a focus on nutrition and the breadth of its work.
  • 2015 – The Food Group distributes a record 1 million pounds of fresh produce. The organization acquires a produce rescue program.
  • 2016 – The Minnesota Department of Human Services awards the Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Award to The Food Group for supporting healthy people, stable families, and strong communities.
  • 2017 – Minnesota Food Association (MFA), operator of Big River Farms, becomes a program of The Food Group, expanding the organization’s work across the food system.
  • 2020 – Twin Cities Mobile Market joins The Food Group, expanding access to affordable groceries.
  • 2021 – The Food Group distributes a record 1.7 million pounds of culturally connected foods.

Stay up-to-date with The Food Group


The Food Group

We’re a local nonprofit working at the intersection of equity and access to healthy, sustainable foods. From farming to distribution, we provide good food to those who need it most in 30 counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The Food Group Office & Warehouse

Big River Farms