MINNEAPOLIS - The city of Minneapolis is encouraging gardeners to help fight hunger by planting an extra row of produce at home or in a community garden.
The Minneapolis Health Department's Healthy Food Shelf Network unites gardeners with food shelves to help get healthy food into everyone's kitchens.
In 2011, there were more than 3 million visits to food shelves in Minnesota. Hunger costs the state up to $1.2 billion annually in direct and indirect health care and education expenses.
Only 15 percent of all Minnesotans consume the recommended number of fruits and vegetables daily. When people donate healthy foods such as fresh produce; whole grains; and low-fat, low-sugar or low-sodium items, they help food shelf recipients eat healthier and prevent chronic health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Health Department staff will attend upcoming events sponsored by the Local Food Resource Hubs to encourage gardeners to plant an extra row for food shelf recipients. Those who commit to participating will receive a free pack of seeds and help connecting with their closest food shelf. The Local Food Resource Hubs Network helps residents grow their own fresh produce. Hub members have access to free or low-cost classes, tools, volunteer opportunities and social events.
The upcoming events include:
10 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday, April 13, St. Olaf Church, 2901 Emerson Ave. N.
10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, April 13, Community garden site at the corner of Lowry Avenue and Central Avenue NE
TBD, May 18
Ninety gardeners have already committed to planting an extra row this year. To learn more about donating fresh produce to food shelves in Minneapolis, visit www.healthyfoodshelves.org.
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