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Give a meal: Helping food shelves at the grocery store

By Dianne Davis Kenning, SNAP-Ed educator

When visiting a local grocery, I noticed store pre-packed bags that could be purchased by the shopper and then donated to the local food shelf. Great idea, but the pre-packed bags did not contain the healthiest foods. So I thought, “we can do better than this,'' and brought the idea of creating healthier donation bags to the Food Shelf Nudging Team comprised of SNAP-Ed educators and Kelly Kunkel, an Extension educator.
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Severe weather: Are you prepared?

By Sara Croymans, Extension Educator, Family Resiliency

Have you heard the Minnesota saying, “If you don’t like the weather just wait an hour?” How true is this?! From snow and ice storms, to flooding and tornadoes, to drought and wildfires, Minnesota has its share of natural disasters. And, the challenging thing is that the timing of these events oftentimes overlap.

AnswerLine: Answering consumer questions for over 40 years

By Jessica Barnes, communications specialist

AnswerLine offers information and resources for consumers with home and family questions in Minnesota and other states in the Midwest. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach staffs and manages this program. They are the welcoming 'front door' to Extension.

Fathers Forever: Minnesota Department of Corrections parenting classes

By Ellie McCann, Extension educator

Five family resiliency Extension educators taught a parenting program at three correctional facilities throughout 2017-2018. Through a 12 session, in person class (2 hours each), 76 fathers completed the full program. Pre and post surveys were administered before and after completion of the program. Session evaluations were also collected that assessed fathers’ experience of each class, what they learned, how they planned to use the information, and what the best part of the class was for them. Wilcoxon signed ranks tests were used to assess pre-post change on the various measures.  

The parenting program attracted a diverse group of participants, representing a range of ages, ethnicity, marital status, and age of children. Of the 121 fathers enrolled, 76% had never taken a parenting class before. This opportunity allowed us to reach a large number of fathers who might never have otherwise signed up for a parenting class. To address this, transition…

Public policy update — State farm to school

By Stephanie Heim, Associate program director (with support from Erin McKee, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy)

A farm to school bill (HF811/SF1346) passed a third committee in the Minnesota legislature on Monday. The next step in the legislative process would be inclusion in the agriculture omnibus bill. 

Farm to school and early care has strong bipartisan support. Farm to school benefits urban and rural communities, kids, farmers and communities (Benefits of Farm to School fact sheet). The bill would reimburse schools and early care settings for purchases of local foods (up to a certain amount based on number of meals served). It would also support education around food and farming and expand farm to school and early care practices.

In 2014, after a national conference and as the Minnesota Core Partner for the National Farm to School Network, I began leading state farm to school policy conversations with key partners upon their request. I served as a content expert, convener,…

The big melt

By Jessica Barnes, communications specialist

It is important to be prepared for a disaster and with this month's weather and potential for flooded basements, now is the time to get started. Check out and share this video with tips on how to prepare.