Updates

North Country Food Alliance SPRING 2017 Update!

GARDENS:


Greetings friends and supporters!

It’s spring time and that means it’s gardening season. This year we’ll be continuing work on the garden we built last year in Saint Paul’s North End neighborhood while breaking ground on two brand new gardens.

In North Minneapolis we’ll be building a new garden on an empty lot we’ve acquired from the city on James Avenue North. This garden being built in partnership with our friends at Kill Kancer, the local cancer prevention charity, will be our first garden project in Minneapolis’ North Side.

Also only a few blocks away from our current garden in Saint Paul’s North End neighborhood, we’ll be breaking ground on a new project where we’ll be planting forageable perennial edibles.

We’re excited to get our hands dirty again this spring planting, weeding, and growing food. You’re welcome to come join us in the gardens too. If you would like to be notified of volunteer days at the gardens feel free to respond to this email and let us know. We’ll be planning some fun volunteer days that are family friendly where we can do meaningful work together and socialize at the same time.

 

FOODSHARE:

We’re excited to announce a new partnership beginning this spring with the new metro Hy-Vee stores. This new partnership is giving yet another boost to the amount of surplus produce we are redistributing to needy people in the Twin Cities every week.


Wedge Co-op & Linden Hills Co-op round-up programs:

We’re super happy to be the recipient of the round-up programs at all 3 Lakewinds Co-ops this month (April) and at the Wedge Co-op in September.

This means that for the rest of this month when you shop at any Lakewinds Food Co-op (Richfield, Chanhassen, & Minnetonka) for the rest of April you can round up your change to the nearest dollar to help support our work increasing access to healthy food. At the Wedge Co-op in Minneapolis you’ll be able to do it again during the month of September.


WHAT IS THAT SYMBOL ON THE NCFA FLYER THAT SAYS IWW?

For those of you who don’t already know, NCFA is a bit of an experiment in how we are structured as an organization. We are democratically-run by all of the workers at North Country Food Alliance. This means that nobody collects a management or administrative salary, and everyone is more invested in the success of the organization that we all run together.

In order to help protect our democratic workplace and show solidarity with workers everywhere we voluntarily joined the Industrial Workers of the World when we created NCFA almost 4 years ago. NCFA is a closed union shop that is democratically run by the workers. That IWW symbol on our flyer is the symbol of the union our workers are proud members of, the Industrial Workers of the World.

Our program coordinators are all elected by their co-workers every 6 months, but everyone at NCFA gets to share in the program labor. At the same time every worker at NCFA knocks on doors and canvasses to raise the money needed to keep our programs running. It’s very hard but rewarding work to be a part of this democratic worker-run organization.

We are hiring new people but we’re very picky. If you have experience with door-to-door canvassing in a fundraising capacity and want to try being a part of this democratic project, feel free to email your resume to info@northcountryfoodalliance.org & as always if you want to continue to support our democratically-run charity financially you can donate on our website at northcountryfoodalliance.org or to set up an automatic monthly donation feel free to call us at 612-568-4585.

Have an absolutely beautiful day,

-the workers at North Country Food Alliance

February 24, 2017 North Country Food Alliance (NCFA) update: we got approved for a new garden plot in North Minneapolis!

OUR NEW NORTH MINNEAPOLIS 2017 GARDEN:

We’re excited to announce that we’ve been approved by the City of Minneapolis to take over a city-owned empty lot in north Minneapolis to create a new garden project. This spring we’ll be breaking ground on an empty lot on James Avenue North for a new garden project while still working on our new garden projects we started last year in Saint Paul’s North End Neighborhood.


This will be the 10th garden project we’ve spear-headed in the Twin Cities since our incorporation in 2013.

We’d like to give a big THANK YOU to Kill Kancer, a local cancer prevention nonprofit for sponsoring this new garden project. Kill Kancer also helped last year with funds for our Saint Paul gardening and we’re excited to continue working together to provide more access to healthy food in the Twin Cities.


DINNER PARTY! COME HAVE DINNER WITH US:

We’re also excited to announce a fundraiser Dinner Party at the French Hen Cafe (518 Selby Ave, St. Paul) on Saturday March 11.


Happy hour will start at 5pm, and a family-style dinner will be served at 6pm. $30 minimum per plate recommended donation.

Come eat with us and have a conversation about increasing access to healthy food in the Twin CIties. There’s a facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1345850095479653/


FOODSHARE:

This year has been a busy one so far with NCFA still partnering with Cub Foods metro-wide and we’re getting ready to start working with all the new Hy-vee stores in the Metro Region. We’re realizing that in the upcoming months we’re going to need to purchase a new bigger truck for our foodshare operation as volume keeps increasing. If you’d like to make a donation towards us buying a new foodshare truck feel free to do so on our website at northcountryfoodalliance.org.

As we get closer to spring we’ll be scheduling some work days in our gardens where anyone will be welcome to come get your hands dirty with us building the 2017 NCFA gardens.

As always feel free to call or email us with any questions or to make sure you’re on our lists to be contacted for volunteer opportunities.

From all of the workers at North Country Food Alliance.
Have a beautiful day!

Foodshare Update

We continue to pick up leftover produce and baked goods from wholesalers, groceries, and co-ops in the Twin Cities. We recently added two new food sources: two Cub Foods locations in Plymouth are now donating to NCFA. In addition, we are now picking up produce from Harvest Moon Co-op twice a week. This food is donated to organizations that serve people in need, such as the Keystone Community Food Shelf, the Center for Victims of Torture, and Loaves and Fishes.

Community Garden Update

Gardening season is upon us, and North Country Food Alliance is gearing up for the season by preparing new garden plots! In addition to our previous plot at our office in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood of St. Paul, NCFA will begin vegetable production in three new locations: Lake Nokomis, Longfellow, and Richfield. The food from these gardens will go to our foodshare program, serving low-income communities and organizations such as soup kitchens and homeless shelters. 

In addition to these gardens, we are beginning work on a longer-term project: an edible forest garden near the intersection of University and Snelling. This will be built on a small strip of land bordering an alley. When complete, NCFA will use it as a site to host foraging workshops, and to provide low-income people with fresh fruit. In addition, it will provide hands-on opportunities for community members to learn about backyard fruit production.

We are excited about this upcoming season and providing even more fresh food to people in need! If you are interested in helping out with our garden program, please sign up to our volunteer list.

Community Garden Update

Our gardens are still going strong through the fall, producing cold-hardy vegetables such as beets, kale, collards, and swiss chard! These veggies will keep producing through light frosts, and kale and collards will continue even through heavy frost. Hopefully the weather will give us ample time to harvest as many greens as possible!

Meanwhile, garlic has been planted at the Midway location. We can expect garlic scapes in the spring and bulbs in the summer. Finally, we have been making an effort to save some seeds from our crop, including okra (pictured here) and beans.

Expanding Foodshare

North Country Food Alliance is now picking up overstock produce from a Cub Foods in Minnetonka! We are excited that our foodshare operation continues to expand so we are able to serve more low-income areas. If you have connections to a store, farm, or wholesaler with overstock produce, please email foodshare@northcountryfoodalliance.org to let us know. Thank you!

New Foodshare Sources!

We are excited to announce that we have acquired a new foodshare source from J & J distributing! This is a St. Paul wholesaler that provides fresh fruits and vegetables to grocery stores. Due to their support we are now able to drop off food to an additional site in North Minneapolis. Additionally, North Country Food Alliance has been picking up leftover CSA shares from Oxendale Market in South Minneapolis and from Harmony Valley Farm CSA. CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) are farms from which customers sign up for a seasonal share and pick up boxes of fresh produce at local retailers. However, every week there are several boxes leftover because people can't always pick up their shares. So now those boxes are coming to us and being distributed to soup kitchens and homeless shelters. Deepest gratitude to all our suppliers!