(Menomonie, WI) - Menomonie Market Food Co-op’s Fund our Foodshed Grant Program has awarded grants for the sixth year. The Fund our Foodshed program is funded by co-op customers through round-ups of change at the registers, and a donation by the co-op. The program furthers the co-op’s mission of creating a thriving, healthy foodshed by supporting the growth of regional farming, food processing, and product development.
According to the USDA, more than 90% of American farms are classified as small. Most of these farms are family owned and operated. We know small farms are in crisis, confronted with major challenges from the large-scale agri-business economic model that has become the norm across rural America. Small farms are vital to the health and sustainability of our rural communities—they help maintain rural economies, steward valuable resources and ecosystems, and are important incubators of new businesses and marketing opportunities.
The Fund Our Foodshed Grant Program aims to help rebuild our rural community by providing crucial support for local farming operations. The funded projects strengthen operational infrastructure and increase food production.
In April 2023, the MMFC Fund Our Foodshed grant committee (comprised of co-op board of directors, staff, past grant recipients, and community members) reviewed applications and made selections based on a variety of criteria—most importantly, the potential positive impact on the agricultural economy of the Chippewa Valley and financial need.
The 2023 Fund our Foodshed Awards went to three area farms: Northwood Mushrooms (Clayton, WI) to build a log cultivation building for growing shiitake mushrooms, Siverling Centennial Farm (Bloomer, WI) to purchase a cooler and freezer for their new processing facility, and Hidden Stream Farm (Elgin, MN) to purchase a new refrigerated delivery van. MMFC will share each farm’s project story through our social media and website. Watch for more information throughout the fall at www.mmfc.coop/fundourfoodshed, or to see stories from last year’s recipients.
Menomonie Market Food Co-op is a forty-eight-year-old community-owned grocery cooperative whose mission is to be central in building thriving healthy communities. MMFC offers full-service grocery, from scratch deli and hot bar, local foods, and knowledgeable, friendly service to everyone. Menomonie Market Food Co-op has two locations, one downtown Menomonie located at 814 Main Street and one downtown Eau Claire located at 1117 South Farwell Street. Store hours are temporarily 8am-8pm daily. www.mmfc.coop