Looking for something fun to do with family or friends on Sunday, July 23rd? Come check out Open Feasts at Open Streets E. Lake Street! Open Feasts is a collaboration between several different nonprofit, government and education entities to bring attention to the issue of food waste and present solutions to the community with FREE FOOD!
Open Feasts will be taking place at three Open Streets events this summer: E. Lake Street on July 23rd, W. Broadway on Sept. 9th and Nicollet on Sept. 24th. Open Streets Minneapolis brings together community groups and local businesses to temporarily close major thoroughfares to car traffic, and open them up for people walking, biking, skating, and playing. For Open Feasts, we will be collecting food that would otherwise go to waste from various sources including farms, wholesalers and retailers. We will then prepare the food into a tasty dish that will be served to the public free of charge. There will also be information available about food waste in general, the juxtaposition of food waste and hunger in our community, how to reduce food waste in your own home, volunteer opportunities related to food waste, food waste recycling demos and more! Open Feasts is a family friendly event, so bring the whole crew! For the first event on E. Lake Street, we will be located on E. Lake Street between Cedar and Longfellow avenues. We will be at the event all day from 11:00am-5:00pm, and food will be served from noon to 2:00pm.
Food waste is an issue that spans across the entire food system from farm to fork and has many economic, social and environmental implications. Estimates vary, but it has been reported that anywhere from 30-50% of the food produced in the United States is never eaten. That amounts to roughly 133 billion pounds, or when put in terms of dollars and cents, $161 billion. Food waste is the single largest component of waste in landfills, where it breaks down and releases methane gas (a greenhouse gas that is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide). Perhaps most upsetting is that alongside all of this waste, there are people going to bed hungry right here in our community. One in ten households in Minnesota experiences hunger. The good news is, there are many things we can do to address this problem at each stage of the food chain!
In addition to The Food Group, several different entities have been involved with the planning of Open Feasts. The collaboration of all these groups around the issue of food waste demonstrates just what a cross-sector issue this truly is. This event was also made possible thanks to Renewables brand and Litin Paper Company for their generous support of this event through the donation of compostable foodservice ware.
The Food Group: The Food Group is an innovative hunger relief organization with a mission of fighting hunger and nourishing our community. Through our network of food shelves, meal programs, Fare For All sites and our newest program area, Big River Farms, we focus on equity, access, and nutrition issues related to food and hunger.
The MN Pollution Control Agency: The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) mission is to protect and improve the environment and enhance human health. The MPCA monitors environmental quality, offers technical and financial assistance, and enforces environmental regulations.
Hennepin County Environment & Energy Dept.: Hennepin County’s Environment and Energy Department is committed to protecting the environment and conserving resources for future generations. Its programs focus on the reduction and responsible management of wastes, the protection of natural resources and the promotion of environmental stewardship.
U of M Institute on the Environment: At the Institute on the Environment (IonE), we discover solutions to Earth’s greatest environmental challenges. IonE is accelerating the transition to this future by supporting breakthrough research across disciplines, developing the next generation of global leaders and building transformative partnerships across the state, region and globe.
Eureka Recycling: Eureka Recycling is a 501c3 nonprofit social enterprise and Minnesota’s only zero waste organization, whose mission is to demonstrate that waste is preventable, not inevitable.
TC Food Justice: TC Food Justice works to reduce food waste and hunger by connecting unsold produce at farmer’s markets and grocers to hunger relief groups in the Twin Cities, and specializes in produce deliveries for smaller-capacity organizations. TCFJ volunteers do some produce deliveries using a bike and trailer.
Minneapolis Public Schools: MPS Culinary & Wellness nourishes all children through access to quality food and active living. As a department, we serve over 22,000 meals each day to the nearly 36,000 students in the Minneapolis Public Schools. We are committed to scratch cooking, scratch cooking, food integrity, local food, and healthy eating.
The Good Acre: The Good Acre’s mission is to connect and strengthen farmers, food makers, and communities through good food. We focus on offering grower support for immigrant, new, and minority farmers so they can have healthy harvests and expand into new markets. As a food hub, we aggregate local produce for our CSA and wholesale programs, we also incubate food businesses and teach cooking classes in our shared commercial kitchen space. We’re excited to help source local ingredients for Open Feasts and raise awareness about ways to reduce food waste at home.
Hunger Solutions: Hunger Solutions Minnesota works to end hunger by taking action, advancing public policy and guiding grassroots advocacy on behalf of hungry Minnesotans and the diverse groups that serve them. We connect Minnesota’s food shelves and hunger-relief organizations with the necessary funding, technical assistance and logistical support to reach thousands of Minnesota individuals, families and children in need. Our work is made possible through the generous support of donors across the country, each sharing our commitment to ensuring no Minnesotan will struggle with food insecurity alone.
Taher, Inc.: Taher, Inc. is a contract food service management company providing K-12 school lunch management, campus dining, senior dining, business dining and catering, summer camp dining, and vending and office coffee services to clients in our growing nationwide footprint. We cook from scratch with fresh, quality ingredients. We partner with farmers and growers who are committed to sustainable practices and humane standards.
Appetite for Change: Appetite For Change uses food as a tool building health, wealth, and social change in North Minneapolis. AFC is a community-led organization that strengthens families, creates economic prosperity, and encourages healthy living.