Did you know we have a dedicated team of volunteers that help with our CSA (farm share) every season? They are an integral part of what makes Big River Farms CSA successful, ensuring our members receive veggie shares each week.

Every Wednesday morning, this committed crew joins us bright and early at Big River Farms. From 6:30-8:30 a.m., they help us help pack over 220 CSA boxes full of freshly harvested organic produce grown by our hard working farmers. We couldn’t do this work without them!

Meet Ann Hill, one of this year’s CSA volunteers, and learn more about why it’s meaningful to her.

How did you first learn about The Food Group?

A dear friend of mine has volunteered in the past and loved it.  

What makes volunteering meaningful to you?

I grew up in a farm community in Iowa and, especially during the current time of uncertainty, it is wonderful to reconnect with the earth and all it can produce.  I am grateful to volunteer with an organization which provides quality agricultural opportunities to those who are underrepresented in the production and distribution of nutritious, fresh, delicious foods.  More people should have access to growing fresh food!

What’s your favorite part about volunteering?

I love to arrive early in the morning and see what has been harvested and is ready to pack in the CSA boxes.  There is always something I don’t recognize so I look forward to trying out new foods and recipes.  I have eaten more kale and Swiss chard this summer than in the rest of my life combined!

How would you sum up your experience in 1 word?

Grounded (both spiritually and physically)

Why is supporting your community with nutritious, culturally connected foods important to you?

I have worked for Feed My Starving Children for 15 years and understand that nutritious food, particularly for children, is at the root of the success of a family and a community.  My heart has been broken watching children eat biscuits made of dirt or chew on one small piece of cassava as their meal for an entire day. I want to do something to make a change, both locally and internationally.  I also know that as Americans, it is not ours to tell other cultures the right and wrong things to eat.  Rather we need to celebrate all cultures and get behind the idea that every child in every country deserves a nutritious meal and a gentle touch every day, regardless of their background, faith or color.

What’s the most unexpected item you’ve seen that you packed?

Garlic scapes…. delicious!  I am all about garlic scape pesto!

What do you do when you’re not volunteering?

I work for Minnesota nonprofit Feed My Starving Children and volunteer with African Children Today, a nonprofit run completely by professional women who volunteer their time in support of women and children in southern Uganda.  ACT provides quality education for 1500 children at our primary and secondary schools, creates sustainable jobs, and provides a market for handcrafts made by 300 artisans. Check out fmsc.org and africanchildrentoday.org or email [email protected] for more information.  

To find out more about current volunteer opportunities and other ways to help, visit our volunteer page.

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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