Another Way Neighborhoods Are Creating Real Food Options

Commenter Gordo chimes in with a smart idea from Minneapolis: Mini-markets

By Kai Wright Aug 15, 2010

Commenter Gordo offers a nice addition to Juell Stewart’s list of ways neighborhoods are taking control of their food systems: Mini-markets. Gordo points to a Minneapolis Public Radio article on that city’s effort,

The Streetwerks market is part of a growing movement to open small-scale farmers markets in low-income Minneapolis neighborhoods where fresh produce is scarce. Organizers say the markets are starting to transform the diets–and the economy–of some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.

The effort got its start three years ago, after a local group struggled to open a small market outside a low-income housing complex. The group asked the Minneapolis City Council to reduce fees and paperwork for markets with five or fewer vendors. Council members agreed, and the "mini market" was born.

Since then, the number of markets has almost doubled each year. This summer, neighborhood groups are running 21 mini markets outside public housing high-rises, churches, and clinics. Most markets are open for two or three hours once or twice a week, often in the late afternoon when people are returning from work.

The article includes a nice interactive feature in which you can find recipes using seasonal, local produce from the mini-markets. Check it out Minnesotans.