Cass Clay Food Commission

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Cass Clay Food Commission - January 10, 2018 Minutes

Members Present:
Arland Rasmussen, Cass County Commission, Chair
Mike Thorstad, West Fargo City Commission
Jim Aasness, Dilworth City Council
Mindy Grant, At‐Large Member Chris Olson, At‐Large Member
Kayla Pridmore, At‐Large Member
Bukola Bakare, At‐Large Member
Nancy Carriveau, At‐Large Member

Members Absent:
Jenny Mongeau, Clay County Commission
John Strand, Fargo City Commission
Heidi Durand, Moorhead City Council
Sharon May, Horace City Council

Others Present:
Kim Lipetzky, Fargo Cass Public Health Gina Nolte, Clay County Public Health Hali Durand, Cass County Planning Megan Myrdal, NDSU Extension
Rita Ussatis, NDSU Extension Noelle Harden, U of M Extension
Nikki Johnson, U of M and NDSU Extension
Abby Gold, NDSU
Deb Haugen, Cass Clay Food Partners Joleen Baker, Cass Clay Food Partners Barb Witteman, Cass Clay Food Partners
Whitney Oxendahl, Cass Clay Food Partners
Adam Altenburg, Fargo‐Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Governments

Chair Rasmussen called the meeting to order at 10:30 AM.

1(a). Approve Order and Contents of the Overall Agenda
A motion to approve the order and contents of the overall agenda was made by Ms. Witteman and seconded by Mr. Aasness. The motion was voted on and unanimously approved.

1(b). Review and Action on Minutes from November 8, 2017
A motion to approve the minutes was made by Mr. Aasness and seconded by Mr. Thorstad. The motion was voted on and unanimously approved.

1(c). Welcome to New City of Horace Commission Member, Sharon May
Chair Rasmussen stated that City of Horace Council Member Sharon May had been appointed by the city to serve on the Food Commission.

2. Commission Check‐In
Chair Rasmussen stated that Commission members and the steering committee had an opportunity to provide updates on news or events happening in the community.

Ms. Baker shared several promotional events that were happening at Prairie Roots Co‐op in Fargo. She iterated that people do not need to be members in order to shop there.

Ms. Bakare shared a bit of background information about herself, stating that she is a doctoral student studying transportation and logistics at NDSU. She stated that she was selected to participate in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s new Healthy Policy Research Scholars program looking at ways to ensure better and more equitable health care, including issues impacting food systems.

Ms. Harden stated that the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Farming (MISA) was holding a workshop on the basics of hydroponic farming at the Lakes Country Service Cooperative in Fergus Falls on February 3.

3. Certificates of Appreciation for Jon Evert and Dana Rieth
Ms. Lipetzky thanked Mr. Evert and Ms. Rieth for their service as at‐large members on the Food Commission. She stated that neither could attend the meeting but that certificates of appreciation would be presented to both of them.

4. Approve Appointments of New At‐Large Members – Bukola Bakare and Nancy Carriveau
Chair Rasmussen explained that, with Jon Evert and Dana Rieth fulfilling their terms, the steering committee had sought two new applicants to serve on the Commission. He explained that the steering committee reviewed at‐large member applicants currently on‐file and ranked each candidate according to expertise, how they would fill potential gaps as they relate to food systems issues, time commitment, and other advocacy efforts in the community.

Chair Rasmussen stated that with the completion of this process, the steering committee recommended the appointments of Bukola Bakare and Nancy Carriveau as new at‐large members to the Commission.

A motion to approve the the appointments of Bukola Bakare and Nancy Carriveau to the Commission was made by Mr. Thorstad and seconded by Mr. Aasness. The motion was voted on and unanimously approved.

5. Healthy Corner Store Initiative Blueprint
Ms. Oxendahl explained that municipalities have begun turning to healthy corner store programs to assist with education and marketing campaigns to promote the benefits of healthier foods at smaller stores. She stated that these campaigns are often geared towards consumers who may have limited access to fresh, health food or may not live near a grocery store. She explained several benefits of healthy corner store initiatives including: better access and availability of fresh produce and whole grains, opportunities for in‐store nutrition lessons, enhanced customer and community health, and increased profits from healthy foods. She stated that concerns include availability of funds to invest in programs to ensure that they are successful as well as concerns from store owners that customers may not purchase fresh produce. She concluded with information on an ordinance that the City of Minneapolis had passed aimed at requiring stores to carry a certain amount of produce and other staple foods.

Mr. Thorstad asked how it might be possible to force chain‐operated convenience stores to carry healthy foods since they may be limited to the goods their distribution networks provide. Ms. Grant stated that she had seen examples of convenience stores starting to carry fruits and vegetables, especially near schools and in places far from other grocery stores in the metropolitan area. Ms. Myrdal added that other food policy councils around the nation are sometimes better able to provide community input to grocery or convenience stores when there is a recognized need for produce or staple foods in an area. Ms. Carriveau further added that, in her experience, convenience store managers often have a greater level of autonomy in making decisions on what goods their stores will carry.

A motion to approve the healthy corner store initiative blueprint was made by Ms. Grant and seconded by Mr. Thorstad. The motion was voted on and unanimously approved.

6. Cass Clay Food Partners Activities and Takeaways
Ms. Myrdal asked Commission members, the steering committee, and members of the audience to take a few moments and share some strategies for healthy corner store programs including: potential locations in the metropolitan area, education and awareness activities, and if there are current funding mechanisms that might support such programs.

Ms. Harden touched upon some of the recent activities of the Commission. She asked members to recall recent blueprints approved by the Commission and work that had been completed over the past three years. She also provided brief highlights on the food access discussion that occurred at the Commission meeting in November as well as the Future of Food event that occurred on November 20 at the Bluestem Center for the Arts in Moorhead.

Ms. Myrdal explained that, in order to better involve the public in food topics of importance in the community, the Cass Clay Food Partners launched a First Fridays series at Theatre B in Moorhead. She stated that the first meeting occurred on January 5 and featured community announcements, followed by a presentation and Q&A session with members of Growing Together, including Jack Wood and Nola Storm. She encouraged people to attend the next First Friday on February 2, featuring staff and board members of Prairie Roots Co‐op.

7. Food Access Policy Themes and Next Steps
Ms. Harden presented a presentation on different food access themes, food skills, food exploration, and potential next steps for the Commission. She touched upon local and national planning programs including programs conducted through extension services in North Dakota and Minnesota as well as services in different states providing education and training related to food preparation, details on the administration of food related programs, and hunger policies.

8. Public Comment Opportunity
Chair Rasmussen informed the Commission that time would be allotted for public comments.

Travis Hoffman, Extension Sheep Specialist at NDSU, stated that he would be interested in being involved in potential future discussions on the importance of lean meat protein or other similar topics.

Jack Wood, Growing Together, stated that they would be adding a third Thursday night garden and would be looking for core volunteers to assist them.

9. Commission and Steering Committee Roundtable
Chair Rasmussen asked for the Commission and the steering committee to share any additional updates.

Ms. Myrdal stated that the next Heart‐n‐Soul Community Café would be January 28 at Square One Kitchen in Fargo.

Ms. Bakare shared that she had just received a grant to implement a project looking to assist New Americans with raised gardens. She stated that she would like to reach out to Commission members about the project in the coming months.

10. Commission Action Steps
Chair Rasmussen stated that the next Commission meeting would be held on March 14. He also mentioned the next First Friday meeting would be held on February 2 at Theatre B in Moorhead.

Chair Rasmussen adjourned the meeting at 11:53 AM.