Challenges

Places and Options

Many communities want a more diversified and culturally appropriate food supply, with foods grown and supplied by local, regional, national, and international sources.

People with cultural, diet-related or religious food preferences often find it difficult to get the healthy foods they want at stores, restaurants, farmers markets, institutional foodservices and hunger relief programs in their communities.

Many people buy a significant amount of their food from corner and convenience stores. In general, these stores offer too many unhealthy options and not enough healthy options.

Some farmers markets sell a limited variety of products and may have limited hours that don’t match the schedules of working people.

There are not enough healthy, affordable options and too many inexpensive, unhealthy foods made by food companies.

Hunger relief programs, such as food shelves, tribal commodity programs, and onsite dining programs offer too many unhealthy foods and not enough healthy foods.

Some institutions that serve communities – including hospitals, worksites, and public facilities-offer too many unhealthy options and not enough healthy foods in their cafeterias, concession stands, and vending machines.

Nursing mothers can find it difficult to breastfeed their babies or pump breastmilk in many settings.

Some employers and employees who are breastfeeding may not be aware of state and federal statutes around break time and appropriate space for nursing and expressing breast milk in a workplace.

Climate and Environment

Minnesota’s short growing season and long winters can limit the availability of healthy food options, especially fresh fruits and vegetables.

Tick-borne diseases can inhibit many people’s ability to fish, trap, hunt, or gather wild foods.

All food is cultural. Strengthening the positive cultural aspects of our food offers protective factors for our health.
Minnesota Food Charter