The Good Acre:Building local, equitable food systems
By Theresa McCormick
You may have noticed a red barn-type building on Larpenteur Avenue at the edge of the University of Minnesota campus in Falcon Heights, not far from St. Anthony Park.
What you might not know is that the building, The Good Acre, is the largest non-profit food hub in Minnesota and plays a key role in connecting food and people in our state. Its work is more critical than ever as unprecedented disruptions in our food system and supply chain continue.
I believe we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a better food system. As we have seen during the multiple crises of Covid, climate change and racism, connecting food that is grown here with people who live here is critical to increased food security for all.
True food security means we have a reliable food supply in our community, growers are paid equitable prices for their harvest and people have access to the most nutritious food possible in every place where they connect with food.
By partnering with anchor institutions such as food banks, schools, and healthcare organizations. The Good Acre, also known as TGA prioritizes purchasing local produce from farmers of color. This significant strategy not only broadens access to nutritious food, it simultaneously builds community wealth and economic justice.
Last year was TGA’s busiest yet, with more than $1.4 million spent with Hmong, black and other farmers of color and food producers across all of our programs. When food growers and makers get fair market prices and access to larger markets, their farms and businesses thrive.
When the food system works for everyone, small growers and food entrepreneurs can create more jobs and grow their own wealth. This is especially meaningful for those who identify as black, Hmong, indigenous, LGBTQ+ and women. Successful business ownership is one of the few ways to create generational wealth.
TGA is uniquely positioned to increase local food productivity and strengthen our food system. But we know a robust, thriving system takes all of us. As the ground begins to thaw, there are three ways you can help create a food future that works for everyone in our community:
• Join TGA’s Farm Share: Subscribe to our community-supported agriculture program. Farm Share is one of the best ways that we put our mission into action. Tastes good, does good. Sign up at thegoodacre.org.
• Donate: Support Hmong, black and other farmers of color to increase their earnings, create more jobs, help them flourish through our grower support programs and ensure that fresh local produce is shared with area food banks and to people who are food insecure, thegoodacre.org/donate.
• Volunteer: Give your time to help support our mission, thegoodacre.org/volunteer.
To learn more about The Good Acre and local food, visit us for a tour. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Better yet, join us Saturday, May 6, for a tour with the Local Investment Opportunities Network.
Theresa McCormick is the executive director of The Good Acre.