Minnesota Food Charter Network Hires First Director

Michael Dahl HeadshotThe Minnesota Food Charter Network—the statewide network, rooted in Minnesota Food Charter strategies, that supports and fosters shared action towards healthy food access for all— recently hired Michael Dahl as its first director. Dahl took office April 1.

Michael brings more than 20 years of economic justice advocacy and lobbying experience to the Network. He was the Executive Director of the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless from 1997-2009, where the organization grew from a .5 FTE organization to a staff of five under his leadership.  Over the past three years, Michael has led the planning and execution of Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative’s political strategy for the housing collaborative network. Michael has developed working relationships with more than 50 grassroots leaders from over 20 congregations to produce tangible successes at the state and local level. By mobilizing over 3,000 people to become partners in the Homes for All legislative agenda, the network garnered over $140 million to support increased affordable housing and homeless services at the Minnesota Legislature and over $10 million annually for the past two years from the City of Minneapolis to develop affordable housing for low-income households.

In considering the opportunities to bolster Minnesota’s food system, Dahl remarked, “Too often food, agriculture and poverty reduction are either seen as distinct issues or problems of us versus them. In fact, healthier households and communities and stronger people and institutions will result when we see a healthy food system as a win-win for society overall.”

The University of Minnesota Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute is the organizational host of the Minnesota Food Charter Network, which is made possible by funding and staff provided by the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Extension, Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

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