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Innovating to Build Food Equity

Full Lives

Supporting local innovative nonprofit partners, developing community resources and collectively building a local food system can solve neighborhood food insecurity in a sustainable way.

Nourish Neighborhoods, Grow Communities

In the Greater Twin Cities, entire neighborhoods lack access to healthy, affordable food. The effects of these food injustices extend beyond households to a community’s educational, economic and health outcomes. By investing in proven initiatives that address hunger on a neighborhood level, we can get to the heart of the challenges and transform outcomes alongside whole communities.
1 in 8
Greater Twin Cities residents are food insecure
1 in 3
Minnesotans have low retail access to healthy food
the rate at which Black, Indigenous, Latine, Asian, Pacific Islander and People of Color are more likely to experience poverty

Innovation Story: Full Lives

“Without this program, some of us would never meet or connect — it teaches our community to come together and make things like the garden happen.”

– Lalah, Full Lives Participant

The Role of Full Lives

Part food security innovation and part economic incubator, Full Lives is a place-based community grantmaking program that strives to not only increase access to healthy food but also increase revenue, create jobs and further nutritional knowledge in communities throughout the Greater Twin Cities.

Together with nonprofit leaders, we work to promote local agriculture, support entrepreneurs, foster new food businesses and farmers’ markets, and improve food access in neighborhoods of low-income and Communities of Color.
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Our Impact to Date

In our first phase, Full Lives has already transformed food systems in North Minneapolis – widening food access and creating new economic opportunities that reverberate throughout our region.
new food sector businesses
acres of fruit and vegetable gardens
jobs created
in revenue

Dive Deeper into the Full Lives Work

The impact Full Lives has made on the community is sweeping, addressing many gaps in our region’s food system. To learn more about food insecurity issues in the Greater Twin Cities and how this work addresses these challenges, check out more information below.

Full Lives Impact Report

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Full Lives Community Connection Series


The Case for Nourishing Communities

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Our Impact

From Basic Needs to Justice: Cultivating a Thriving Food System

The last two years tragically reflect some of the highest rates of hunger and food insecurity that our region has ever seen.

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Nourishing Community: Equitable and Just Community Food Systems

Food and food access are foundational to community health and well-being. The food we eat represents more than just a nutritious meal to help us get by.

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Food Security Challenges and Local Solutions

Food insecurity, or hunger, is a serious challenge facing our community: Minnesota food shelf visits have doubled over the last five years, and at any given time, one in 11 people are hungry – one in eight are children.
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Join Us as a Changemaker

Get Involved

Learn how you can support programs like Full Lives and other innovative solutions.
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Our Impact

Full Lives is just one part of the work Greater Twin Cities United Way does to develop innovative solutions to the challenges our communities face.
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