“Food is my source of comfort, and if it’s really good, it makes me glad to be alive.” – community member

An exchange between two gentlemen on a bus at the Twin Cities Mobile Market. The man on the left is wearing a fedora and a bright orange shirt with his back facing the camera. The other man is wearing a black cap, a mask, and a black t-shirt, and he is holding two apples looking at the man in orange. A shopping basket, watermelon, ketchup, and bananas are on the counter.
An interaction between a Twin Cities Mobile Market shopper and staff member.

Centering community voice is a core value at The Food Group. This past fall, we decided to go deeper.

In September we began a community engagement process to strategically inform our food systems work. Mobile market shoppers, food shelf visitors, and farmers engaged with us through surveys, interviews, conversations, and focus groups, sharing ideas to build a more equitable food system together.

Our community shared that food access is connected with all basic needs and wellbeing. Many folks also shared insights around dignity and autonomy, food solutions as a collective effort, food as a tool for healing, and the need for housing and land access for long term food stability.

A breakdown of community members involved in our process. Our process engaged 377 shoppers through 326 surveys at 23 sites which included 176 Fare For All Users, 90 Twin Cities Mobile Market users, and 60 food shelf users as well as through 51 oral interviews at 18 sites including 26 Fare For All users, 15 Twin Cities Mobile Market users, and 10 food shelf users. Our process also engaged 14 farmers with highlights being 1 create conversation and 5 individual empathy interviews.
A breakdown of community members involved in our process.

Community Informed Changes 

We heard from our community what is important, and now The Food Group is leaning in to invest by: 

  • Grounding our programs in autonomy and dignity  
  • Strengthening partnerships with community-led housing and health groups 
  • Developing a community advisory committee 
  • Growing land access solutions for farmers 
  • Creating continuous feedback loops in our programs 
  • Exploring advocacy toward systemic change 

As we work to fight hunger and nourish our community, we are profoundly grateful for community wisdom and support. We are energized to put community solutions into action together! 

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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