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.
  • 2024 – Hunger Solutions becomes part of TFG as a subsidiary, expanding hunger relief programs and adding policy work.

We Value Nutritious Food
Working with our community partners, The Food Group buys, gleans, grows, and processes fresh produce.

Food Bank
or Food Shelf?
The Food Group is a food bank that supplies other hunger relief agencies with fresh produce, frozen meat, grocery staples, and other household necessities. Food shelves distribute free food to individuals and families in their local communities.

The Food Group believes in food equity. They believe in culturally specific foods. They believe in meeting people where they are at. And most of all, they believe in dignity.

The Food Group volunteer and donor

Did You Know?
Over 20% of Black households and 19% of Latinx households report food insecurity, compared to 10% of white households.

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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 MN and WI.

The Food Group is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. EIN 41-1246504 Contributions are tax-deductible to the full amount provided by the law.

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The Food Group Office & Warehouse

Big River Farms

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Hunger Solutions