Our executive director, Lori Thorp, recently addressed the Minnesota House of Representatives Agriculture and Food Finance and Policy Committee regarding the importance and impact of the Good Food Access Program on our Fare For All work. Below is a modified excerpt of her testimony.
“The Food Group is a Good Food Access Program (GFAP) grant recipient. Our mission statement is Fighting Hunger. Nourishing our Community. We are a food access organization using nutritious food to strengthen
We also have a program called FAre For All (FFA) that received funding from the GFAP. FFA is a traveling grocery sales program that purchases nutritional foods at wholesale, assembles those foods into packs of fresh produce and frozen meats, and sells those packs at up to 40% off retail prices at 38 sites across Minnesota.
Fare For All primarily serves the group of people who don’t qualify for SNAP or other safety net programs but still struggle to make ends meet. We have always focused this program on foods that tend to be more expensive like fresh produce and quality meats allowing our customers to really stretch their food dollars. We source opportunity buys in the marketplace so we can keep our prices low.
And, we have a waiting list of over 40 locations that have asked us to bring FFA to their community ranging from Hibbing to Alexandria to Litchfield to Owatonna. The further out into rural MN we have gone the more success we have had as there are simply not as many choices for nutritious food. Going forward, most of our expansion plans are focused on rural MN.
We would not be able to expand FFA without the help of the Good Food Access Fund. Our freezer capacity was maxed out because we are serving more food shelves and expanding FFA. We needed to install a second 3200 square foot freezer in our warehouse in New Hope. This project costs over $400,000 and is being funded by a combination of private foundation grants, a large USDA grant, individual donors and lastly the Good Food Access Fund which is allowing us to put the finishing touches on our new freezer by purchasing the racking for the freezer, install guards/protections on the outside and install the temperature alarm.
We have not been able to add any new FFA sites in the last year due to not having enough freezer capacity. This funding allows us to implement our expansion plans in rural MN in 2019.
As the FFA program continues to grow capital needs will continue to arise. And capital grants are not easy to find or get. So, it is very
You can also view the video of Lori’s testimony here: