colored letters that read "MFJN" in green, aqua, yellow, and blue with "metro food justice" written in small black letters underneath

What's new from MFJN?

Announcing Our New Fiscal Sponsor: ACER!

Although MFJN originally started with five Backbones as our fiscal and legal containers, we are now transitioning to one external fiscal sponsor. The fiscal sponsor’s role primarily consists of contracting Weavers and stipended network members, acting as lead or sponsor for fundraising, and fulfilling accounts payable and receivable functions. We're celebrating this growth as another sign of how we're growing as we go and building trust with each other along the way!

This transition will remove some of the burden from the amazing Backbones who are still working hard to guide the Network and also do the fabulous work specific to their organizations. 

Our new fiscal sponsor is ACER, African Career and Education Resources, Inc. We were delighted to find an organization in alignment with shifting the social context. ACER is the leading organization working with African immigrants in the Northwest suburbs. From their site: “We build power to achieve systemic change that advances racial and economic equity for our communities.”  Learn more about ACER!

Connect with MFJN Action Teams

flyer on a white background for "Seed and plant distribution event". Green and grey seed srouting sillhouette in the upper right corner and Northside Fresh logo in the upper right (green fist raised in front of city skyline in orange and red hues)

May 25, 11am-3pm

Northside Fresh Action Team

Seed & Plant Distribution

Sanctuary Covenant Church

710 West Broadway Ave N, Minneapolis

Join us for a day of community and gardening, and get your green thumb ready! Bring a box for your donation-based goodies to grow your own food!

"seeking action team co-lead - it could be you!" in wonky orange and red cartoon letters at the top. A kitchen scene in greens, oranges, and reds below with a person stirring a salad in the bottom right corner, looking out at a green window scene

Culinary Workforce Development

Join Chef Lachelle in convening a diverse set of stakeholders to support the culinary workforce development space. Collaborate on goals and strategies for program implementation that leads to greater health outcomes for folks being served by institutions hiring program graduates. What does it mean to be an Action Team co-lead? Reach out to to find out more!

Screenshot of a journal article titled "Revealing campus food insecurity at urban, private, liberal arts universities"

Cross Campus Food Access Coalition

Congrats to MFJN's Cross-Campus Food Access Coalition members on elevating awareness for campus food security once again! "The results from this survey highlight those with marginalized identities are at a higher risk for food insecurity." Read more here.  

orang flyer with three plates of happy little food dishes at the top, and "new meeting schedule - prepared meals" written in orange and green over a white box at the bottom

May 14, 11am-12pm

(2nd Tuesdays of the month)

Prepared Meals Action Team

We're bringing together prepared meal providers in the Metro Area to brainstorm and work together on collectively decided topics. Sharing what our programs are doing currently, what has gone well, and what we're struggling with or trying to implement. Sharing ideas and solutions.


Upcoming Topics:

  • Culturally Affirming Meals and how to understand what to produce for neighbors and how to do it at a smaller scale
  • Capturing and incorporating feedback on meals
  • Developing referral processes to ease use of multiple food support services
  • How to increase use of food recovery in prepared meals

Reach out to or Aly at to get the Teams meeting invite.

Robin (wearing a red shirt and apron) talk across a wooden table to an attentive adult visitor while kids on colorful shirts and hats lean over bowls to pack seed packets

The Common Table

Join the MFJN Common Table Action Team:

  • Reach out to to get the link for our next meeting: May 16 @4pm (Zoom). Join every other Thursday meetings when you're able.

Volunteer during the MN State Fair, Aug. 22 - Sept 2:

Present during the MN State Fair, Aug. 22 - Sept 2:

  • Reach out to to stay in the loop once we're ready to start scheduling



Grower Support Specialist | The Good Acre

Executive Coordinator | FoodCorps (remote)

Communications Director | Socially Responsible Agriculture Project (remote)

Social Media Community Coordinator | FoodCorps (remote)

Executive Co-Director | Sharing Our Roots

Operations Manager | Kilimo Minnesota

Inventory & Operations Support | TC Farm

Institutional Impact Manager | Center for Good Food Purchasing (remote)

Youth Interns | Appetite For Change

Board / Committees

Advisory Committee - Frogtown Farm 

Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production

USDA will accept nominations from May 7 to July 7 for individuals representing a broad spectrum of expertise to be included on a 12 person advisory committee:

  • An agricultural producer or farmer using innovative technology.
  • An individual representing an institution of higher education or extension program.
  • An individual with supply chain experience, which may include a food aggregator, wholesale food distributor, food hub, or an individual who has direct-to-consumer market experience.
  • An individual representing related experience in urban, indoor and other emerging agriculture production practices.

Got an opportunity? Send it to

Learning & Connecting

Feeding Our Hearts And Minds

Due May 14: Attention urban and suburban farmers!

Can you take this survey? This study is to understand participation and non-participation in land transfer programs, including Minnesota’s Beginning Farmer Tax Credits, by farmers in the rural-urban interface? If you are at least 18 years old and would like to participate in the study, please follow this link. We thank you in advance for your response. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the researcher, Dr. Shellye Suttles, at We would be grateful for responses before May 14.

Thank you, and we hope you are all well as we head into this growing season,

  • Shellye Suttles, Gary Hampton, Kara Komoto, and Valentine Cadieux

Volunteers Needed: Urban Ventures Farm

Urban Ventures Farm is looking for volunteers to help prep vegetable beds for spring. We are a non-profit farm in South Minneapolis located along the Midtown Greenway. All vegetables grown are sold at our pay-as-you're-able farm stand. Shifts are weekdays 9-12am or 3-6pm.

Sign up for shifts.

Be notified when new shifts are posted.

wheel barrow with cvolorful dots and the words "The food group" to the right. Below that is "Hunger Solutions" and a green shape of the state of MN

May 16, 8:30-9am

The Food Group & Hunger Solutions

Last month, Hunger Solutions and The Food Group officially joined forces. Join us for a virtual update to learn more about the new programs and advocacy initiatives we’re excited to be adding to our work. Register here!

May 19, 10am-2pm

Tamales y Bicicletas

2820 15th Ave S, Minneapolis

Bike parts, farm equipment, and vegetable plant sale.Learn how to build a garden bed! -- Únase a nosotros para talleres sobre construcción de camas de jardín, tejido de cestas y un taller de faroles artísticos.

May 23, 5-7pm

Journey for Justice: A Global Movement to Empower Emerging Farmers

The Forum, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

Join the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs for a film screening of “Lupang Hinirang,” a documentary chronicling the inspiring journey of Filipino farmers fighting for their land rights against powerful landowners, in the context of agrarian reform in the Philippines, introduced by the filmmaker, Ditsi Carolino. Following the screening, a panel discussion will focus on the film’s takeaways for building social movements and empowering small-scale, emerging and BIPOC farmers in Minnesota. Register for the in-person event. Learn more about the panelists and filmmaker here.

Due May 31

Submit ideas for the Minnesota Organic Conference

Whether you are interested in presenting, or want to recommend a speaker or topic, submit your ideas for the Minnesota Organic Conference by May 31 using our simple submission form (don’t use the “&” character -- your submission won’t go through). A conference planning committee will review the submissions and select a wide array of sessions that will interest prospective, beginning, and expert organic farmers of all types and farm sizes. The conference takes place January 9-10, 2025. If you're interested in receiving an exhibitor/sponsor info packet and/or conference program information, sign up for our updates.

June 4-5

MNGLCA GrazeHers Conference

Participants will learn the basics of grazing livestock, pasture management, and goal setting for their operation. The GrazeHERS event is geared towards women interested in learning the principles of grazing livestock. The event is made up of women presenters, hosts and supporters motivated to share their knowledge about the grazing industry. Register here.

For more information click here or email Star.

June 11, 2:30-3:30pm

Farm to School and Early Care Stakeholders Meetings

Join members from the Minnesota Farm to School Leadership Team and other farm to school and early care stakeholders each month to discuss and find answers to your questions related to local foods and making farm to school + early care a success in your community. These meetings happen every second Wednesday of the month from 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM. If these times don’t work for you, you can submit your questions here. You can register once and you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining each monthly meeting.

June 17

ServSafe Certification

Heads Up, Food Safety Champions! We’re gearing up for our mid-year ServSafe class, and you’re invited! Join us on June 17th for our next available session.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or new to the industry, our course is designed to boost your expertise in food safety and hygiene, taught by experienced instructors in a friendly, informative environment.

Sign up here!

Chef Lachelle faces the camera and smiles while wearing a black shirt. Text on top reads "2024 ServeSafe Certification Calendar" and to the the right of the photo os a calendar showing event dates

June 21, 2024, 2:00-6:00 pm 

28th Annual Community Peace Celebration

Western Sculpture Park, 387 Marion St, St Paul, MN 55103

Local residents of Rondo and Frogtown neighborhoods started the Community Peace Celebration 28 years ago to promote peace and unity after tragic violence. Now, it's grown into an annual event focused on building a strong community and spreading a message of peace.

This free event welcomes everyone and offers live music, delicious food, useful neighborhood resources, and fun activities for all ages. Special guest Jim Embry will share his Joy and Justice Journey, joined by other talented artists and peacemakers.

Learn more at

Watercolor image of people celebration in a cirlce around a peace pole, colorful trees in the background. Text reads "28th annual community peace celebration, june 21"
Jim Embry kneels in a field of flowers with a hoo[p house in the background

Funding Opportunities

One of the ways MFJN is working to shift the social context of food justice work is to write collaborative grants for collective impact in our food system. Interested in collaborating? Let's connect!

Due May 20

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for a second round of the MN Local Food Purchase Assistance (LFPA) Program. LFPA funds projects that buy local food, primarily from socially disadvantaged farmers, and distribute that food at no cost to underserved communities throughout the state. Applications are due no later than 11:59 p.m. Central Time on May 20, 2024. There are a lot of ways that you could potentially engage with this program!


For potential applicants 

 For people who want to make connections related to potential projects 


For people/organizations that can help promote this opportunity 

  • We’d appreciate your help spreading the word with the short text at the bottom of this email. Additionally, a flyer is attached and the full press release is on our website. If there are other things that could help you share this information, please let us know.   



  • Please let us know. We can take questions about the Request for Proposals through 9:00 a.m. Central Time on May 13, 2024. We look forward to the continued development of this program. or 651-201-6290   

Due June 17

Food security and food recovery services

Hennepin County seeks proposals from emergency food providers or organizations that support emergency food providers to offer:

  • food security services that includes free meal, food shelf, mobile food shelf and/or food bank services,and/or 
  • food recovery services, which includes collection and redistribution of surplus food to support residents 

The Request for Proposals (RFP) is now available and closes June 17. A pre-proposal conference is May 13 at 10 a.m.​ Contracts for food security services will start January 1, 2025, while contracts only for food recovery services may begin in 2024.


Visit the Hennepin County Supplier Portal to learn more. View the RFPs by selecting “Contracting opportunities” and choosing “Food security and food recovery services.” Contact with questions about the request for proposal.

Due June 28

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Community Foods Project


Phase II: CFP Food Loss and Waste (FLW) Training and Technical Assistance (T&TA)

Grants Program National Call for Proposals

The purpose of the project is to implement outreach, training and technical assistance efforts to build capacity for food loss and waste initiatives. Communities that will benefit from Food Loss and Waste Training and Technical Assistance Grant activities include: Farmers/ranchers, youth, tribal, and community organizations, higher education organizations, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders.

Funding Range: Expected grant size $500,000, capped at $1 million per project

Project Timeline: Three (3) Years, Beginning September 1, 2024

Call for Proposals Application Link: SARE Grant Management System

For more information, contact: SARE Food Loss and Waste Program Manager

Lisa Johnson at

Due July 19

Ramsey and Washington Counties 

The Food Recovery Grant supports programs that recover surplus, edible food from businesses, organizations and/or farmer’s markets for distribution to people in need. Recovery Grants are open to businesses (food donors, including food producers, distributors, grocers and cafeterias), nonprofit organizations and college food shelves in Ramsey and Washington counties.

Grant awards are up to $20,000.

2024 application submission deadline is 4:00 pm on July 19. Applicants will receive award notification approximately 8 weeks later. Download full grant guidelines here.

Learn more about Food Recovery Grants at an Online Info Session on May 15 at 12:00 p.m. Click here to sign up.

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