Community Outreach

What do a 5K event and a natural food store have in common? They both benefit the community because of the cooperative difference. The annual Run for Hope 5K exemplifies how a cooperative finds balance between business and giving. By: Charli Mills, Editor, Living Naturally (Valley Natural Foods' print publication). Featured in the Spring 2016 Living Naturally edition. Click here to view the entire issue. Photo by: Brittany Faith McGaughey Thomson Run for Hope is a 5K walk, run or stroll event intended to bring families together in a healthy activity. Proceeds benefit the Foundation for Early Childhood Family Services (ECFS) and its outreach for young families in the Apple Valley, Rosemount and Eagan area. Last year, Run for Hope 5K raised close to $17,000 for ECFS. With the money raised last year, ECFS focused on five key programs or developments. NATURE-SCAPING. Imagination is healthy to a

Last week we focused on 5 basic training tips to get you on the right path for our Run for Hope 5K on May 2, 2015 and now we are on to nutrition tips that will keep your body healthy! Be sure to register for the Run for Hope 5K at by February 28 and save! Click here to learn more about the race and our race beneficiary. 1. Drink up. We all know that drinking enough fluids daily is important to stay hydrated and to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It becomes even more crucial when preparing for a 5K race. However, how much should you drink daily? It’s important to drink half your weight in ounces daily and drinking water provides the best hydration without the unnecessary sugar and chemicals that some sports drinks have. If you find water boring

Okay, we want you to feel encouraged and excited to participate in our Run for Hope 5K at Valley Natural Foods on May 2, 2015 at 8:00 a.m.! You should feel pumped up as not only are you making a great decision for your health, but proceeds from registration costs go toward improving the health of our next generation! Yes, all the proceeds from the Run for Hope 5K will be donated to The Foundation for Early Childhood Family Services (ECFS), helping support Dakota County LANA (Learning About Nutrition through Activities) curriculum and the construction of a playground for children attending classes at the Dakota Valley Learning Center. However, what if you’ve never participated in a 5K before and you don’t know where to start? The important thing that to remember is that you don’t have to be a runner to participate!

Summer vacation and warm weather  brings thirsty kids to the kitchen looking for something to drink. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly advises against energy drinks for children and adolescents because of high amounts of caffeine and other stimulants. Doctors only advise sports drinks during or after rigorous exercise because of the sugar content (concern for obesity and dental caries). What can we do to keep kids hydrated and satisfied during the active summer months? 1. Water, water and more water! Mineral waters are especially helpful on those hot, active days when kids need to replenish electrolytes lost during vigorous play. The Kids Health website: gives the perfect explanation for children, telling them why water is important and how much they should be drinking. 2. Healthier sports drinks. For those hottest days when kids are active outside, you can make healthy

Article submitted by: Eileen Johnson, RN, at Valley Natural Foods Are you ready for Valley Natural Foods' Run for Hope 5K on May 3, 2014? Click here to register by March 31 to be guaranteed a t-shirt in your size, along with getting a swag bag of cool healthy goodies and a commemorative bib!  Have you thought about taking it on but weren’t sure how to get ready for it? Running/walking a 5K (3.1miles) is a great way to start the exercise season and/or try out a longer run or walk if you have never done any long distance before. Here are some great training tips: Optimal nutrition is crucial when you start any new exercise program. This is definitely the time to be eating 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Exercise increases metabolism of the cells, in other words they

When Jerry Braun was volunteering at 360 Communities’ Burnsville food shelf earlier this year, there was a young woman that came in with her two kids.  Apparently, she had been living in her car.  Sensing the urgency of the situation, Braun immediately asked her what she needed and gathered as much food as he could along with some mittens and other items for the kids.  As he talked about the situation, one could tell how much Braun cares about the families that come to 360 Communities. His caring nature is evident when he mentions that he derives simple satisfaction from just getting a hug from the people he helps.  Braun relays that there is often the misconception with food shelves that people are abusing the system.  However, in his eyes, if a family is struggling and they are hungry, they just

From April 1-June 30, Valley Natural Foods and many wellness products vendors  rallied together on behalf of  store wellness manager, Naomi Lundberg to put together the "Unite for Naomi" fundraiser.  $5.00 bags of wellness products were sold  to raise money on behalf of Naomi, who was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year.  All the wellness products were donated to 360 Communities' Burnsville's food shelf. We are happy to report that we sold 426 bags and raised $2,519.16 for Naomi! That means for the 90-day period of the fundraiser we sold an average of almost 5 bags a day! That's incredible! A huge thanks goes out to all of our shoppers for their generosity, it really means a lot.  Also, another huge thanks goes out to all of our amazing wellness vendors who supported the fundraiser with product.  We couldn't have

There was a "big check" roaming around the co-op today, did you see it? If not, we will fill you in on what was happening! Valley Natural Foods was proud to present a $1458. 90 "big check" from its Cooperative Community Fund (CCF) to 360 Communities of Burnsville.  Jeff Mortensen, the Senior Director of Innovation/Interim CEO/President  and Tony Compton, the Marketing and Communications Manager, were on hand to receive it and of course, the actual check too! 360 Communities is a wonderful non-profit organization that serves our local community through five food shelf locations along with providing domestic violence outreach and prevention support and many other educational opportunities for Dakota County families.   Last fall, Valley Natural Foods member owners selected 360 Communities as the recipient of of this fund through the annual online ballot. Valley Natural Foods is one of over

Throughout the month of April, Valley Natural Foods encourages the community to unite for one of its  own -- Wellness Manager, Naomi Lundberg. As a benefit for Naomi, who is currently battling breast cancer, customers can purchase $5.00 donation bags of wellness products (each bag is valued at $40-$50) that will be given to our local  food shelf, 360 Communities.  100% of the proceeds raised from the purchase of the bags will benefit Naomi in her fight against breast cancer. Also, every time you purchase a wellness bag, you can register to win one of three gift baskets full of wellness products valued at $70-$100 each. A cashier will hand you a drawing slip at the point of purchase. This fundraiser would not be possible without the overwhelming support from our wellness vendors who donated 100% of the  product used to make the

 One cashier at Valley Natural Foods, Mandy Mulder, is planning a 48-state, 90-day road trip across America this May, and no, it isn’t a vacation. Mandy Mulder isn’t going to be staying in luxurious hotels and laying out on sandy tropical beaches as others her age might. Instead, Mandy will be going across the country as a homeless person,  staying in shelters on a journey she is calling “Mission America”. With only a car and a few changes of clothes, she will be doing an act of service in each location she visits. The goal of her trip is to inspire people to not just feel bad about homeless people but to feel bad enough to do something. She wants people to be moved enough to go down to the shelter in their community and serve.  Because she is videotaping her entire journey and has the