Extension Logo
Extension Logo
University of Minnesota Extension

SuperShelf – Healthy food shelf transformations

SuperShelf transforms food shelves, creating welcoming environments where all people have access to healthy food.  

Extension’s role

As a founding partner of SuperShelf, Extension has been working to transform food shelves, creating welcoming environments for communities to access appealing, healthy food. SNAP-Ed educators work as SuperShelf consultants to partner with food shelves across the state using SuperShelf values and methods to make the healthy choice the easiest choice for all. 

Driven by our values​

Good food: We believe reliable access to healthy, appealing and culturally appropriate food will promote overall health in our communities.

Respect for all: We believe client-centered, welcoming and positive approaches create dignified experiences that further equity in our communities.​

Collaborative partnerships: We believe mutual trust and fully-engaged partners build strong, connected communities working toward sustainable systems change.​

Evidence-based practices: We believe excellence comes from thoughtful, rigorous evaluations, and replicable solutions.

Systemic thinking: We believe influencing policy and processes at all levels drives transformational change in our food system. 

The timeline

In 2016 SNAP-Ed SuperShelf consultants transformed four pilot food shelves in the metro area. This work coincided with an evaluation study on two of the pilot sites by the University’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, funded by Duke UNC-BECR. 

In 2017 the SuperShelf partnership received National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding to expand and formally evaluate the project. Building off our previous research on the impact of SuperShelf, we received a 5-year evaluation grant to study SuperShelf in a greater number of food shelves and with more rigorous evaluation measurements.

Also in 2017 SuperShelf, in partnership with Hunger Solutions, we launched the first Minnesota Statewide Food Shelf Client Survey. We received over 4,250 responses from 188 food shelves across Minnesota. 

In 2019, Extension SNAP-Ed provided funding to support 14 additional transformations in rural areas of Minnesota, bringing SuperShelf to every region of the state. We received 5,529 responses from 220 food shelves across Minnesota.

Also in 2019, in partnership with Hunger Solutions and Minnesota Department of Human Services we conducted the second Minnesota Statewide Food Shelf Client Survey.

In 2022, Extension partnered with Foundation for Essential Needs (FFEN) for another round of Minnesota Statewide Food Shelf Client Survey. Results will be available in March 2023.

The team

Founding partners

SuperShelf was developed by four founding partners:

  • HealthPartners
  • Valley Outreach
  • The Food Group
  • University of Minnesota Extension and Department of Family Medicine and Community Health 

Founding partners work collaboratively with the SuperShelf Leadership Team composed of local public health and other health and hunger organizations.

Leadership Team

  • Hunger Solutions Minnesota
  • Second Harvest Heartland
  • Channel One Food Bank
  • The Statewide Health Improvement Partnership / Minnesota Department of Health
  • Office of Economic Opportunity / MN Department of Human Services
  • Community Action Center of Northfield
  • Ramsey County Public Health
  • Foundation for Essential Needs
  • HealthPartners
  • Valley Outreach
  • The Food Group
  • University of Minnesota Extension and Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
  • White Bear Area Food Shelf

For more information on becoming a SuperShelf, evaluation results and statewide work, visit the SuperShelf website

Related resource

SuperShelf - Transforming food shelves to bring good food for all — Watch a video to learn more about how SuperShelf is creating access to healthy foods in communities across Minnesota.

Reviewed in 2023

Page survey

© 2023 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.