Increasing economic opportunity and improving quality of life.

Food is at the heart of every community. It brings families and neighbors together, defines and blends culture, nourishes health, and fuels life. And the system of producing, processing and distributing food creates jobs, engenders opportunity, drives innovation and productivity, and facilitates creative expression, especially in underserved rural and urban areas. Visit The Good Food Access Program to learn more about food access point technical assistance.



The goal of the VetCSA is to improve the overall quality of life for veterans and their families. Participating veterans receive a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) food package twice per month, for one year at no cost. This initiative delivers healthy foods and gives additional knowledge and skills on how to prepare them. Building a healthy lifestyle creates a positive effect on physical and mental health. The VetCSA brings veterans, families, growers and communities together, with food coming from Sprout MN and supporting regional growers and ranchers. This project is funded by the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) through the (2018 Cycle II) Support Our Troops (SOT) license plate fund grant program. Learn more about VetCSA.


For more details on the MDVA SOT license plate fund grant program, visit: https://mn.gov/mdva/resources/supporttroopslicenseplates.jsp




Community mental health practitioners and community-based healthcare providers refer patients to a CSA prescription, augmented with ancillary programming. Health care professionals, county public health, and ancillary team members work together to refer residents to the program. 


The CSA food is aggregated from over 80 low-income local growers by Sprout MN, the regional food hub and delivered to progam participants bi-monthly, adding value to regional businesses and the agricultural economy.


Chefs and U of M Extension nutrition educators deliver cooking classes and education in a relaxed setting. We understand that just because you get a rutabaga in a CSA does not mean you know how to cook it or why you should eat it.  This approach offers new life-long skills that change behaviors, new adaptation skills, self-esteem, a greater well-being. Learn more about RxCSA.


We are proud of our partnership with Sprout MN to bring these local foods initiatives to our region.


Read more about Sprout MN and its impact on the community by reviewing the WealthWorks Report.

"These projects are direct outcomes of the ways agencies and organizations are thinking differently due to the evolution of Sprout and the local foods, culture, arts work. These act as pollinators to help create systems change across sectors in our region.”

Cheryal Lee Hills

Executive Director

Region Five Development Commission



To learn more about local foods initiatives, please connect with Staci Headley.