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Regional Food Access Gathering Draws a Crowd

Last month, representatives from over 70 community organizations and students from Extension’s Southeast regions attended a day-long gathering on food access held at Minnesota State University in Mankato.

Participants attended three afternoon presentations, including two by FD staff:
  • “Kids and Hunger,” presented by Heather Von Bank, Ph.D., and Cassandra Schreiber of Minnesota State University, Mankato.
  • “Food on a Budget,” presented by Rachel Jones, SNAP Ed educator, University of Minnesota Extension.
  • “The Minnesota Food Charter: A Tool for Change,” presented by Natasha Frost, J.D., of the Public Health Law Center at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, and myself.
The evening keynote presentation and community discussion, titled, “Farm to Fork: The Sibley East School Garden,” was presented by Jeff Eppen and Tim Uhlenkamp, teachers at Sibley East Schools in Gaylord and Arlington, MN, with assistance from Mary Krentz, Extension SNAP-Ed educator. The evening presentation was an opportunity to learn more about how one school garden has affected the entire community.

 This 14-minute video documents one of Minnesota's largest school gardens.

As a result of this gathering, hosting agencies are planning to invite key food access partners to meet as a network to better address food access issues in the Mankato area. This event was hosted and supported by the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP); Minnesota State University, Mankato; University of Minnesota Extension; and the Public Health Law Center.

Kelly Kunkel
Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition

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