Ecolution #1: Food Security and Appetite for Change

Ecolution reporting made possible by Seward Co-op, which has been a community-owned grocer since 1972: Together, we continue to cultivate a cooperative economy.

Carl Childs, Savannah McCullough, and LaTaijah Powell volunteer to help distribute meal boxes for 200 households.

The #EcolutionCollective is a newsletter series in four weekly installments focused on different topics.

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About Food Security

We launched our Ecolution Collective series with food security as the central topic because:

  • 1 in 8 Minnesotans will experience food insecurity this month, including 112,000 children — data from McKinsey & Co, collected on behalf of Second Harvest Heartland, September 2020
  • The hunger crisis hits Minnesota, and it’s about to get much worseSahan Journal. “Despite how well the state’s emergency food system is working, a rise in food insecurity still has major implications for the overall health of the state.”

The Four-Part Series

Ecolution 1A: What
Ecolution 1B: Who
Ecolution 1C: Why
Ecolution 1D: Next Steps

Action Step #1

Ecolution Collective, as the name suggests, is a collective effort. This new communication tool about equitable economies and sustainable ecosystems is driven by reader engagement. Take our survey:

We will revisit the topic of food if we hear from you

What solutions have you seen around the state that are improving supply lines between healthy foods and those who need access? Do you work with data or research that illuminates this issue? Reach out to with “food security” in the subject line.

Action Step #2

Interested in getting involved with sustainable food networks in Minnesota?

Hunger Relief 
The Food Group MN, providing resources to food shelves and direct food access programs.
Minnesota Central Kitchen, Second Harvest Heartland, brings together restaurants, caterers, and hunger-fighting organizations to tackle hunger and service-sector layoffs brought on by the pandemic.
MN Food Charter, a roadmap designed to guide policymakers and community leaders in providing Minnesotans with equal access to healthy food.
Metro Food Access, creating a re-imagined metro food justice network that uses a robust community engagement process. 

Food Skills
East Side Table, empowering individuals to improve food skills, awareness, and access to healthy foods.

The Good Acre, improving the local food system for diverse, independent farmers and to increase access to healthy produce for all consumers.
Farmers Market Hub, expanding produce sales through farmers’ market aggregation

Rural Renewal & Sustainable Agriculture
Renewing the Countryside, renewing the countryside through sustainable and innovative initiatives, businesses, and projects.
The Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, bringing together the diverse interests of the agricultural community with interests from across the University.
Land Stewardship Project, founded in 1982 to foster an ethic of stewardship for farmland, to promote sustainable agriculture and to develop healthy communities.

Have resource suggestions? Get in touch:

Action Step #3: Read and Watch

Farmers and animal rights activists are coming together to fight factory farms, Vox
“If the Farm System Reform Act passed, how much would really change?”

These small dairy farms are a model for a resilient food system, Yes! Magazine
“These farmers don’t operate alone. They band together in cooperatives, sharing resources for the benefit of all.”

Hmong farmers use Minnesota roots to bolster the state’s farmers markets, Duluth News Tribune
“Having diversity in vendors at the market is the only way that it should exist.”

Action Step #4: Community Suggestions

Recommended resources and suggested action steps on behalf of food issues in Minnesota.

From Mark Ritchie at Global Minnesota: Attend the Oct. 16 World Food Day 2020 virtual conference about hunger relief, regenerative agriculture and sustainable development, food security and safety, impacts of climate change, and more. 

From Secondhand Harvest Heartland and the Wilder Foundation:

  1. Anyone who needs help stretching their food budget can find options listed at the Hunger Solutions interactive map.
  2. Advocate for SNAP and other food access programs. Find out if you are eligible, and apply if so.
  3. Donate financially to food banks. Volunteer to work with food assistance providers.
  4. Before you donate, consult the website of the place you plan to give to see what foods and products they need most. 
  5. Advocate for SNAP expansion and food access support. The Food Research and Action Center is asking for people to contact their legislators to help strengthen SNAP benefits in the next COVID-19 response package.
  6. Help to destigmatize food assistance use by talking about hunger and program options. Anyone can be impacted by food insecurity, especially in the pandemic and because of affordable housing issues.
  7. Support initiatives and policies that reduce barriers for food security. Be part of conversations about stable housing, transportation, livable wages, and healthcare.
  8. Can you be part of the team that tracks and informs the Ecolution Collective about related legislative bills in January? Contact

Profile: Appetite for Change

AFC operates a youth program that runs an urban farm on seven sites, grows and harvests food, and distributes meals through fresh grocery boxes and recipe kits. It works largely with small local farms and farmers who are immigrants, Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Its weekly meal kits are free, and include two recipes and locally grown produce for 12 meals that are delivered to families. Taronda Richardson explains the program:

AFC makes 1,000 meals on weekdays out of its Breaking Bread kitchen in North Minneapolis and Station 81 in St. Paul’s Union Depot.

The pandemic has prohibited some of AFC’s other work, yet its central mission remains intact: to break down systemic barriers to healthy food.

Upcoming Themes

More details about what the Ecolution Collective is about, and why you might want to become part of this new statewide community.