The Power of Connection
One of the roles of The Food Group is to act as a connector and source of support for our hunger relief partners.
We bring together food shelves, meal programs, snack programs, and other hunger relief organizations several times a year to share resources, experiences, and information. These organizations support one another, help to build capacity, and are working together to fight Minnesota’s persistent issue of food insecurity.
Through these connections, our partners are better able to meet the needs of those we all serve.
Creating Healthy Foods Guidelines for Meal Programs
In June, our meal program partners will come together for their second meeting this year to focus on creating Healthy Foods Guidelines for their organizations. With the help of The Food Group’s Nutrition Outreach Specialist, partners will get a chance to share their existing Healthy Food Guidelines and develop/modify guidelines for their own organizations. In addition, Catholic Charities generously offered to share their guidelines with the group to discuss.
This group will also be having an open discussion on menu creation and nutrition planning for our meal program partners’ food service work. Bringing nutrition planning to the forefront will help our meal program partners make healthy choices when preparing their meals.
There meetings are a great opportunity to network and share resources with other meal program agencies!
Snack Programs Work to Fill the Gap
Our snack program partners will meet in August to discuss surveying methods and ways to work more collaboratively with the schools they serve. These programs work with local schools and youth organizations to distribute packages of snacks to school-aged children.
These packages are meant to help bridge the gap between meals for students struggling with food insecurity.
Our snack program partners realize that hunger is a complex issue, and are working to uncover other needs they can fulfill within their communities. They hope to work together to help families access foods for their children all year long. While most snack programs operate during the school year, several snack agencies operate a summer snack program that addresses the food need during the months that kids are not in school.
Our partners are forces for change. Through collaborations with food shelves, meal programs, and snack programs throughout MN, we are able to work together as a hunger relief community to create innovative solutions to food insecurity in our community.
This post was written by Lily Jaber, The Food Group Agency Relations Coordinator. Questions? Contact Lily.