Six years ago, an IATP intern with a bright idea and a lot of determination launched what has become known fondly as the Minneapolis “Mini Market” project. With technical assistance and support from IATP, a wide variety of public housing facilities, churches, hospitals and neighborhood-based organizations have launched small farmers markets in Minneapolis, providing market opportunities for small and start-up farmers and bringing locally grown foods to under-served areas across the city.
Today, IATP is pleased to announce that we are passing leadership of the Mini Farmers Market Network to four terrific community-based partners: the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition, Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches' Minnesota FoodShare program, Northeast Minneapolis Farmers Market and Kingfield Farmers Market.
These organizations are proven leaders in community building, food access and/or farmers market management. We are thrilled to pass the baton to them, to guide them through this first year of transition, and to see the network unfold under their leadership in the years ahead. Each organization will provide support and guidance to a cluster of markets in the area of Minneapolis in which they are based. The markets themselves are each managed by a community organization that hosts the market on their grounds.
Since the beginning of the project in 2006, more than 20 organizations have hosted Mini Markets. Most of the markets accept WIC (Women, Infants and Children) benefits and several have begun accepting food support (SNAP/EBT) benefits.