Supporting Leaders of Color
Our Community Connectors initiative is one of our newest efforts to address local food insecurity by supporting emerging leaders of color in the Northfield-Faribault area. Sharing Our Roots provides structure, support, training and networking opportunities for Community Connectors to mobilize their neighborhoods and enact positive change within their communities.
The initiative was launched at the start of 2020 with three wonderful women, originally from Mexico, Colombia and Kenya. Together, they lead community dialogue to get at the root of food insecurity faced by immigrant families. They form alliances with local nonprofits like Growing Up Healthy and the Community Action Center to connect people to services and resources, while also meeting with City of Northfield officials to develop plans for new community gardens and to revise local policies.
With the unexpected arrival of COVID-19 and the subsequent impacts to society, our team prioritized the production and distribution of food to families most impacted by the pandemic. Community Connectors planted culturally appropriate foods at our 100-acre farm, including chinsaga, African corn, squash, cilantro, jalapeños, tomatoes and more. Throughout the summer months they made weekly deliveries to five Northfield-Faribault neighborhoods. A total of 2,250+ lbs of fresh vegetables were donated to over 200 households. We were also able to deliver 1,080+ lbs of chicken,130+ boxes of non-perishables and 100+ masks to community members.
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 cultural crops. However, for families who live farther away transportation can be a barrier. This is why Community Connectors are helping enhance and establish local neighborhood gardens. Connectors currently support four gardens in Northfield and Faribault by:
- Building partnerships with property managers
- 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 (whenever possible)
- Coordinating the delivery of compost and materials
Community Connectors are addressing food security in:
- Viking Terrace Mobile Home Park
- Summerfield Apartments
- Greenvale Place Apartments
- Greenvale Place Neighborhood Garden
- Greenvale Community Garden
- St. Dominic’s Community Garden
- Cannon River Mobile Home Park
- Cannon River Neighborhood Garden
- Evergreen Estates Mobile Home Park
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...
How we are supporting poultry farmers