The Food Group, the nonprofit independent food bank that supplies hundreds of Twin Cities food shelves with low-cost, nutritious staples and more, is increasingly an entrepreneurial organization that has gotten into nutrition education, the local-foods movement and community gardens as part of its health-oriented mission.
Earlier this month, Food Group, which also has vegetable gardens at its New Hope offices and warehouse, absorbed Big River Farms in Marine on St. Croix.
Big River was owned by nonprofit Minnesota Food Association (MFA). It functions as an incubator for immigrant and minority farmers and their vegetable plots.
MFA wanted to focus on growing food versus administration. It has a budget of about $600,000 compared to Food Group, with revenue of about $10 million.
“We’re excited to open the door to the many new possibilities this partnership will present,” said CEO Lori Kratchmer of Food Group. “Our organization is committed to equity and this allows us to work more deeply on this as well as nutrition issues.”
Food Group plans create expanded growing-and-revenue opportunities for small sustainable farmers at the same time that it increases its own access to locally grown fresh food.
“This opportunity presents innovative ways for us to work together to become stronger in supporting local farmers and alleviating hunger in our community,” said Dan Tilsen, board chiar of MFA.
More information: www.thefoodgroupmn.org.