Food insecurity like we’ve never seen Food shelves across Minnesota and the country are fighting…
by Pamela Thompson, Northfield News
Apr 15, 2023 Updated Apr 18, 2023
On Tuesday, Post Consumer Brands Northfield partnered with Community Action Center locations in Northfield and Faribault to assemble nearly 1,000 culturally appropriate meal kits for Latino and East African communities in Dakota County.
“Ingredients for Good” aligns with Post Consumer Brands’ purpose: to make lives better by making delicious food accessible for all, said Amy Cernava, plant director, Post Consumer Brands. “As a food company, we believe that it’s our responsibility to help ensure everyone has a seat at the table.”
“Altogether, the Flavors of Our Community event resulted in three tons of food going directly to CAC’s food shelves,” said Michael Pursell, Food Access Program Director, Community Action Center of Northfield. “The premade pantry packs assembled by volunteers contain many of our most sought-after items, including flour, cooking oil, and a wide variety of culturally specific items like masa harina that we’re not able to keep in stock on a consistent basis. It makes a huge difference to the community when partner organizations take into account the cultural preferences and actual shopping habits of our participants in this way.”
April’s National Volunteer Month marks Post Consumer Brands’ second annual company wide “Ingredients for Good” volunteer initiative, dedicated to strengthening local communities and helping individuals and families facing food insecurity. Through hands-on volunteer projects and food donations, employees at 13 locations across the U.S. and Canada where Post Consumer Brands operates will join together to address hunger issues in their local communities, with a focus of providing underrepresented communities with culturally relevant foods that don’t usually make it to food shelves.
Cernava said, due to the pandemic, the food insecurity rate in Dakota County has risen to more than 13 percent, which is higher than the state average, with Minnesotans of color being disproportionately impacted by food insecurity in the years since COVID began. “Many of these communities do not see themselves or their cultures reflected in most food shelves, creating a need for culturally informed food options,” she said.
Cernava said another event upcoming event at Post will be the Better Together Foundation plant and flower sale running from May 10-13.