Healthier foods, closer to home
Any time you ask the question, “How do you create a healthier community,” what you’re really asking is, “How do you make life easier for mom?” And dad. And sister, brother, uncle, aunt, grandparents and neighbors.
That’s what’s happening at Glendale Townhomes in Minneapolis. A community garden is just one of the ways neighbors are discovering healthy new foods. A weekly mini farmers market also started in 2011, following a pilot program in 2010. Additionally, an on-site food shelf makes staples and other ingredients available year-round within easy walking distance.
CAPI, a Minneapolis-based organization focused on social justice and anti-poverty initiatives among immigrants and refugees in the Twin Cities, helped plan and coordinate the various activities, working closely with community members. The goal? Connect neighbors to neighbors and increase the strength of the community.
Healthy in many languages
Glendale Townhomes is a 184-unit community owned by the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) and the only public row house development left in the United States. Residents come from many different cultural backgrounds, including African American, Laotian, Hmong, Somali, Latino, Native American and Ethiopian.
CAPI supported the community in many different ways, from providing gardening tools and supplies to securing site permissions and assisting residents in preparing the community garden site for planting. Master gardeners provided educational support to Glendale residents, and nutrition teachers demonstrated cooking techniques with foods from the on-site food shelf that were unfamiliar to newcomers to Minnesota.
Making it better
Access to healthy foods is a critical issue in many areas of Minneapolis and across the nation, and Glendale Townhomes is making effective strides in food access that bring neighbors even closer. It’s community building at ground level, hands-on and close to home, with educational support for lasting change.
What’s happening in your neighborhood? What would you like to start? Share your ideas here.