Challenges

Children, Youth and Young Adults

Many young Minnesotans lack healthy food skills, no longer learning them at home, school, or programs outside school.

People establish lifelong food preferences at an early age, when they are most reluctant to try healthy and unfamiliar foods.

Minnesota lacks definitive data on the extent of the food skills gap among young people.

There is inadequate alignment between federal education policy and accountability measures, state level educational support, and local educational priorities for K-12 food skills education.

There are limited state and local education policies, resources, and practices supporting food skills development for K-12 students in Minnesota, such as guidelines, benchmarks, graduation/course requirements, curriculum, staff positions, professional development and training, facilities, and equipment.

Despite broad support for food skills education, many school districts lack facilities, staff, curriculum, funding, equipment, or political will to implement it.

Adults

Many adult Minnesotans lack basic food skills and don’t understand the food supply or agriculture.

Many people are too busy to learn food skills, buy, or prepare healthy food.

Many adults prefer the taste of unhealthy foods and are unwilling to try new things.

Gardeners don’t always have access to the land, equipment, or supplies they need to grow food.

Some consumers are unaware of inexpensive, healthy food options that fit within their budget.

FoodService Professionals

Some foodservice professionals need greater knowledge and skills to plan and prepare healthy meals served by organizations where they work.

Some institutions lack kitchen equipment, facilities, or resources they need to train foodservice staff to plan and prepare healthy foods, including cooking meals from scratch.

Minnesota Food Charter