Fostering Regional Food Resilience
The Happy Dancing Turtle is working with local farmers and other area community groups to:
- Formally establish a food distribution system in Central Minnesota; and to
- Conduct a feasibility study on the establishment of a regional food processing facility.
This project is unique in that it has extensive community support, and it has been recognized as a local need for regional long-term sustainability in both Region Five HUD (Housing and Urban Development) Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Consortium and Regional Economic Development meetings. Beneficiaries are numerous, and include producers (increased access to markets); growers' organization (increased capacity to conduct business and continue to grow); residents (increased access to fresh, local foods); community members (increased regional food resiliency); and invested partners.
Through the formal establishment of a food distribution system, linking producers and consumers, and feasibility of a season extending, farmer-friendly food processing facility:
a. Access to fresh, local foods will be improved;
b. Central MN schools will be transformed into healthy food environments for children by utilizing local, fresh foods in the school lunch program; and
c. Local farmers and producers will be supported, raising family income and providing other economic development opportunities.
Happy Dancing Turtle will help create a food secure Central Minnesota, bringing sustainable, healthy food to the entire region, and assisting in local economic recovery and growth. This will be accomplished by:
- Completing the formal establishment of a growers' organization;
- Conducting key portions of a feasibility study on the establishment of a regional food processing facility.
$2000 from the CRSDP
Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) $24,900
Initiative Foundation $5,000
Farmers' Union $2,000
Happy Dancing Turtle $15,900 and $5,000 in-kind