Food Access Summit 2015:


November 8-10, 2015 – Duluth Entertainment Convention Center


To connect and engage participants in the work of regional and issue area networks where their expertise can be leveraged for maximum influence in improving access to healthy food for all Minnesotans, with an emphasis on people living in poverty. Network participation over the next two years will be used to support individual and agency efforts to implement strategies outlined in the Minnesota Food Charter.


500 participants from agriculture, anti-hunger, tribal, community development, education, retail, health and philanthropy sectors will gather for a two-day conference to build upon existing partnerships, collaborations and alliances that strengthen and expand the work of individuals and agencies. Workshops, networking and issue area strategic discussions will be utilized to energize and connect participants so that they are ready to act, implement and operationalize strategic priorities that create an equitable food system for all, from the producer to the consumer.


Participants will:


  • Strategies from the Minnesota Food Charter that have been effective in increasing access to healthy foods in schools, child care centers, health care facilities, workplaces and communities
  • Local, state, and federal resources that can be utilized to improve organizational effectiveness in providing Minnesotans with equitable access to abundant and affordable healthy food
  • Opportunities and events designed to influence existing food and social policies
  • Effective collaborative designs that break down barriers and find common cause between sectors and organizations


  • Engage with new partners, while strengthening existing partnerships
  • Within new collaborative circles, align and leverage core organizational strategies to maximize impact and create efficiencies
  • Activate strategic alliances to influence policy and decision-making at the institutional, local and state level


  • Put into practice important learnings and plans generated at the Summit
  • Identify key levers and policy objectives to guide priority setting
  • Operationalize the expanded capacity of networks and new alliances 

Target Population

Anyone working to improve access to healthy food for underserved populations including:

  • Food shelves, food banks, meal programs and community-based organizations that operate USDA nutrition programs
  • Food policy networks, public health agencies and Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) grantees
  • Health care organizations and health care professionals
  • Tribal health programs and leadership councils/governments
  • Growers/farmers, food processors and distributors
  • Retailers and markets (grocers, food trucks, farmers markets, farm stands)
  • Local and state government sector staff and elected officials, policymakers
  • School administrators, school food service directors and school meal program staff
  • Community development organizations, foundations and other funders


Equitable access to abundant and affordable healthy food for all Minnesotans, with emphasis on those with limited financial resources

  • Implementation of Minnesota Food Charter recommendations in schools, child care centers, healthcare facilities, workplaces and communities
  • Active engagement by Summit participants and organizations in regional and issue area networks across the state
  • Measurable policy, system and environmental changes

Conference Committee

American Indian Cancer Foundation, Center for Prevention at Blue Cross Blue Shield MN, Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute - UMN, Hunger Solutions Minnesota, Latino Economic Development Center, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota Department of Education, Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota Department of Human Services, Minnesota Farmers Union, Minnesota FoodShare, Neighborhood House St. Paul, Public Health Law Center, The Food Group (formerly Emergency Foodshelf Network), University of Minnesota Extension