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.

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The Food Group

We’re a nonprofit working at the intersection of equity and access to fresh, sustainable foods. From farming to distribution, we provide fresh food across 30+ counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The Food Group Office & Warehouse

Big River Farms