Minnesota Food Charter Network: Engagement
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The Minnesota Food Charter Network is a statewide network that supports and fosters shared action towards healthy food access for all. A core function of the network is engaging food networks across the state. University of Minnesota Extension provides critical leadership in building connections and strengthening capacity for Minnesota food networks.
A snapshot of 24 of Minnesota's 70+ food networks. See the full directory here: Food Networks in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Food Charter Network (the Network) was formed in concert with the Minnesota Food Charter. It supports and track statewide implementation of food charter strategies. The Network:
- Fosters relationships
- Builds capacity
- Leverages influence
- Creates efficiencies
- Communicates successes
- Provides organizational support for everyone involved
The Network supports, connects and builds capacity of local and regional food networks to effectively carry out food charter strategies.
Extension’s leadership role in the engagement function of the Network are grounded in three strengths:
- Extension’s research of statewide networks was critical in the development of the Network. (See Food Networks: Research and Reports.)
- Extension’s staff has expertise in outreach and engagement strategies.
- Extension’s reach is statewide.
Extension’s strategic response
Extension health and nutrition staff have developed an engagement effort to help our state’s food networks put in place food charter strategies. We achieve the goal of building connections and strengthening capacity for food networks by:
- Providing staff engagement with food networks.
- Organizing regional Food Charter in Action events. (See Minnesota Food Charter in Action Events.)
- Implementing a statewide food network convening. (See Convening of Minnesota Food Network Leaders.)
- Build a food network directory. (See Food Networks in Minnesota.)
- Implementing a food network Google group. (See MN Food Networks.)
- Providing technical assistance.
- Leading quarterly online meetings.
- Putting in place food network health evaluation.
- Building internal capacity to implement the Minnesota Food Charter strategies.
- Building national connectivity.
The Network is supported by:
- Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
- Minnesota Department of Agriculture
- Minnesota Department of Health
- University of Minnesota Extension
The Minnesota Food Charter Network is hosted by the University of Minnesota’s Healthy Food, Healthy Lives Institute.
Extension leads not only engagement, but also learning and capacity-building efforts for the Network. Also our staff take part in several Minnesota Food Charter Network action teams:
- Learning and Capacity Building
- Shared Measurement
- Aligned Funding