Our Initiatives

Community Connectors

Supporting Leaders of Color

Three dynamic women, originally from Mexico and Kenya, serve as our Community Connectors. Sharing Our Roots provides structure, support and networking opportunities for Community Connectors to mobilize their neighborhoods and enact positive change. Connectors liaise with their local communities connecting farmers seeking land to the Sharing Our Roots Farm or to neighborhood gardens near where they live. Our Community Connectors are trusted neighbors working on the frontlines of food insecurity across Rice County.

Image

COVID-19 Response

For the past two years, with the unexpected arrival of COVID-19, our team prioritized the production and distribution of food to families most impacted by the pandemic. Community Connectors planted culturally appropriate foods on our farm and, throughout the summer months, made weekly deliveries to five Northfield-Faribault neighborhoods. More than 2,250 pounds of fresh vegetables were donated to 200 households. We also delivered more than 1,080 pounds of chicken, 130 boxes of non-perishables and 100 masks.

Since COVID-19, there has been much interest in growing vegetables at home for food security. This year, Community Connectors are working with 121 people who are growing food in community gardens, the Sharing Our Roots Farm, and at home. This is a 57% increase in engagement compared to 2021. Participants are Latinx, African, Caucasian and Asian/Pacific Islander. Two thirds are women.

Image

Co-creating Neighborhood Gardens

Everyone deserves access to healthy food. Our 100-acre farm offers space for community members who identify as low-income to grow culturally familiar crops. However, for families who live farther away transportation can be a barrier. To address this issue, our Community Connectors help enhance and establish local neighborhood gardens, and support families growing food at home. Connectors currently support four gardens in Northfield and Faribault by:

  • Building partnerships with property managers, city officials, and other nonprofits
  • Helping develop guidelines for gardens
  • Recruiting, allocating and overseeing available garden plots
  • Providing technical assistance to growers for pest control
  • Coordinating management and upkeep of garden spaces
  • Donating seeds and plants to growers
  • Coordinating the delivery of compost and materials

Image

Community Connectors are addressing food security in:


Northfield

  • Viking Terrace Mobile Home Park
  • Greenvale Place Neighborhood Garden
  • Greenvale Community Garden
  • St. Dominic’s Community Garden
 

Faribault

  • Cannon River Mobile Home Park
  • Cannon River Neighborhood Garden
  • Evergreen Estates Mobile Home Park
  • Health Finders Clinic Garden
  • Faribault High School Garden

Testimonials


This program is one of constant learning, connecting with the community and serving as a bridge to help families that need access to essential services and resources, and that due to unfortunate circumstances, often can’t access what they need. I’m happy to be someone they can trust and look to for support.Rosmar
For me, this program has been a wonderful experience. I really enjoy being in communication with my whole neighborhood, and I feel very grateful for the opportunity to help our community. I’ve learned much about cultural differences and the struggles that other ethnicities face, and that by simply listening we can find solutions.Erika
The program has been wonderful. It brought me closer to the neighbors whom I love serving. The only way I do God’s work is through service and I’m happy and humbled to do so. Through this program, people were fed and got the sense of oneness. Mama Tshutshu

Learn more about...