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Strengthening Partners in Local Food Production

By Noelle Harden, Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition

Across Northwest Minnesota, local food production plays a prominent role in efforts to increase access to healthy food. Health and Nutrition staff are partnering with organizations across the region to promote equitable access to community and home gardens, farmers markets, CSA (community-supported agriculture) networks, farm to institution programs, and wild food foraging.

The Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (NW RSDP) is a key partner making a difference to strengthen healthy, local food systems in the region. Staff from NW RSDP and Health and Nutrition have worked together to support initiatives like the Fresh Connect Food Hub in Fergus Falls and programs like Local Foods College, an annual series of eight live webinars focused on local food production.

You can find recordings of all sessions at Local Foods College Archive.

In 2016, this partnership will be further strengthened by SNAP-Ed Community Partnership Funding [archived webpage], which will provide opportunities for SNAP-Ed to become more integrated with the work of NW RSDP and other healthy food access partners through gatherings, coaching, mini-grants, and social network analysis. Thanks to the SNAP-Ed funding, the 2016 Local Foods College will highlight the connections between local and healthy food in some sessions, as well as include an entire session featuring healthy food access and the work of SNAP-Ed educators in the region. Registration for Local Foods College is free! Sign up here:

To learn more about the Fresh Connect Food Hub in Fergus Falls, read the October 2015 blog post Through Grant, Extension Helps Fresh Connect Food Hub Grow.

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