GREENS FOR GOOD
Greens for Good, Mill City Farmers Market’s food donation program, was launched in 2013 in partnership with Augsburg University’s Campus Kitchen to increase access to fresh healthy food in Cedar Riverside. Each week from June through October, a team of Augsburg students and volunteers gather produce from our vendors at the end of the Market day to make fresh, healthy bags of fruit and vegetables available for free pick up on Cedar Avenue to families who need them.
In recent years, the program has grown and adapted. In 2018, the Market began purchasing the excess produce, enabling farmers and food makers to be paid for their contributions, which at the time was just over 7,000 pounds per season. We also work with our farmers to purchase and provide more types of produce that are specifically requested by the families we serve. In 2021, provided free weekly produce to over 60 families for a total of 16,657 pounds.
This program is made possible, in part, by Delta Dental of Minnesota and M Health Fairview.
Thank you to everyone who responded to the call for support in 2020!
Unexpected changes in our local food system during COVID-19 and civil unrest in 2020 created unique needs and challenges throughout our community. Many community members lacked access to fresh food. With an outpouring of community support, we were able to purchase and distribute nearly 10,000 pounds of fresh produce – an increase of 58% over the previous year – to respond to this increased need.
The program also reduced waste and supported our local farmers during this critical time. With the closure of schools and restaurants (accounts which typically make up anywhere from 20 to 90% of a small farm’s income), lower numbers of wholesale orders, fewer customers at farmers markets, and the small margins inherent to farming, many farms faced increased financial insecurity and hardship in 2020. Helping to offset this hardship, Greens for Good paid over $17,000 (nearly three times more than in 2019) directly to 13 farms. Much of what we learned during last year’s response is helping to inform how we are moving forward with a more impactful and effective program in 2021.
To support Greens for Good and our other mission-driven programs, become a Friend of the Market by making a donation today!