Minneapolis Donated 300 Bags of Healthy Baby Food to Local Organizations Thanks to Bright Cities Funding

August 19, 2020

In partnership with HBBF’s Bright Cities program, the City of Minneapolis’s Health Department recently donated baby food with lower levels of arsenic to six different organizations in Minneapolis.

The organizations that received the baby foods  — Centro Tyrone Guzman (the oldest and largest multi-service Latino organization in Minneapolis), Division of Indian Work (a key contributor to the Native community for more than 66 years), Little Earth (a residential community home to about 1,500 residents, many of whom are Native American), NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center (a multi-specialty medical, dental and mental health center and human service agency located in North Minneapolis), The Family Partnership (an innovative and highly impactful nonprofit serving whose clients are 85% people of color and 55% are considered low income), and St. Olaf Lutheran Church — serve families in neighborhoods that traditionally suffer from health and economic disparities.  

The City of Minneapolis has been a Bright City since 2016, and used part of their $25,000 grant to donate food for the first time in 2019. After the success last year, Minneapolis planned the second food donation, though it was delayed due to COVID-19 and the death of George Floyd.

Both years have demonstrated the acute need for healthy baby food in the community, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Forty percent of mothers with young children ages 12 and younger reported household food insecurity since the pandemic’s onset according to the Brookings Institute. By the end of April 2020, two in five households with mothers with children 12 and under, were food insecure. In almost 20% of households of mothers with children age 12 and under, the children were experiencing food insecurity.

baby foods

Each community-based organization in Minneapolis received 50 bags of food to share with families, including an assortment of fruit and vegetable mixtures, and organic oatmeal cereal. Rice cereals — which are much higher in arsenic content — were avoided. The assortment of healthy food was accompanied by an informational flier on how to choose arsenic safe foods for babies.

Because of the diverse population in Minneapolis, the flier was provided in English, Spanish, and Somali.

The residents who received the baby food donations were grateful for the assistance during these difficult times. “I really appreciate having this food for my babies, ” shared one mother. Another mother shared “the support that I have received is a blessing during this difficult time. Thank you Centro Tyrone Guzman and everyone who makes this possible!”

“Babies deserve the very best possible start and that means a healthy start,” said Jacob Frey, The City of Minneapolis’s Mayor. “Our partnership with Healthy Babies Bright Futures helps us magnify Minneapolis’ on-going efforts to protect our babies from neurotoxic exposures that can harm brain development and stymie our city’s overall potential.”  

Would your city like to learn more about Minneapolis’s program? Contact Nathan Olson, Health Inspector in the City of Minneapolis at Nathan.Olson@minneapolismn.gov.

Is your city interested in being part of Healthy Babies Bright Futures’ Bright Cities program? To discuss this and anything else, please contact Bright Cities Program Director, Kyra Naumoff Shields at knaumoff@hbbf.org.