Community Outreach

March marks the start of an annual program to benefit local food shelves called Minnesota FoodShare. Valley Natural Foods will be raising funds and collecting donations for local organization The Open Door Pantry. Keep reading to learn more about these two programs and about how you can make a difference in the local community. Our goal this year is to raise $5,000 for the March Campaign! Minnesota FoodShare Minnesota FoodShare works to fight food insecurity throughout the state by providing donations to keep food shelves stocked by collaborating with other local groups and businesses. The organization also educates the community about hunger and advocates for legislation to help combat this issue. [caption id="attachment_30145" align="alignright" width="271"] Minnesota FoodShare's March Campaign works to provide resources to local food shelves.[/caption] Since 1982, MFS has donated funds to local food shelves. The following data is from the MFS website: 2017 March

Last week I had the pleasure of participating in a tour of Valley Natural Foods for about 25 Kindergarten – 5th grade students from Tutor Time in Apple Valley. The students were given a store tour by two of our board members followed by a smoothie tasting. After they were finished touring indoors our Garden Coordinator gave them a tour of our teaching garden and sampled a variety of vegetables like kohlrabi, jicama and rainbow carrots. For my portion of the tour I had the students come into the classroom and sample a smoothie with mystery ingredients. I had them try the smoothie first and then try to guess what I had put in it. As they sampled the smoothie a majority of them though it was delicious and hoped for seconds. They started naming off different fruits they believed were in the

Round-up Your Purchase at the Registers! Thank you for your contributions by rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar. Currently you are helping to provide healthy snacks for Echo Park Elementary School. Over $2,500 was raised for the school in April and May and the money is used to purchase healthy snacks for students. Join us in June when your round-up will benefit The Open Door Pantry. Thank you for helping to make a difference!

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

We all know what it is like to feel hungry. When you are waiting for that next meal, sometimes your gurgling stomach is hard to ignore and you have to satiate it with a snack or two. If you are like many people, you try to have a snack that won’t fill you up so you still have room for lunch or dinner. Choosing a healthy snack option is probably also on your radar. Yet what if you didn’t have the luxury of so many food choices, much less healthy options? What if your gurgling stomach turned into an endless ache and you are powerless to cease its angry grip? That is the difference between feeling hungry and GOING HUNGRY.  I’ve never directly experienced going without food, but I do know I would never wish this situation upon anybody. Yet food shelves such as The Open Door Pantry in

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 www.runforhope5k.com 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: http://goo.gl/u4ZA99 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