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.
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.
In their role as Mini Farmers Market Network leaders, the four organizations will provide technical and troubleshooting assistance to market managers, support effective coordination with the City of Minneapolis and the State of Minnesota, and foster collaboration among the markets.
Congratulations to West Broadway, GMCC, and the Northeast and Kingfield markets for taking on this expanded leadership in our local food system! Join in celebrating the bounty of summer by supporting the farmers market in your neighborhood!