Local Food Co-op Gives Back to the Farming Community for the Third Year | Wis.Community

Local Food Co-op Gives Back to the Farming Community for the Third Year

October 20, 2020 - 8:20pm
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Menomonie Market Food Co-op has awarded gifts to support the local farming community through two giving programs—its Fund Our Foodshed Grant Program and the new Menomonie Market Cooperative Community Fund.

The Fund Our Foodshed Grant Program is an annual giving program created by the co-op in 2018 to help rebuild our rural community by providing crucial support for local farming operations and to further the co-op’s mission of creating a thriving and healthy foodshed by supporting the growth of regional farming, food processing, and product development in the Chippewa Valley. The program is funded by shoppers through round-ups of change at the registers and a donation by the co-op, and the funded projects strengthen operational infrastructure and increase food production.

For the third year, the Menomonie Market Fund Our Foodshed grant committee made up of co-op board members, staff, and community members reviewed applications from previous years and made selections based on a variety of criteria—most importantly, the potential positive impact on the agricultural economy of the Chippewa Valley. 

The 2020 Fund Our Foodshed Awards went to three area farms: Sacred Blossom Farm (Mondovi, WI), Harvest Moon Organics (Cadott, WI), and L.T.D. Farm (Clayton, WI).  Each farm was awarded $1,500; more information about each of the projects funded can be found

This year, the co-op has also launched a new annual giving program, the Menomonie Market Cooperative Community Fund (MMCCF). This fund was created in 2017 as part of the Twin Pines Community Fund (TPCF), an endowment that exists to aid in developing new co-ops throughout the nation and to give back to local nonprofits.

The TPCF is funded through contributions from Menomonie Market Food Co-op, matches by other co-ops, gifts from shoppers through round-ups of change at the registers, and an annual fundraiser, and it has combined assets of over $4 million. Unlike many other foundations or endowment funds, Twin Pines only invests in the development of cooperatives, with nothing at all in the stock market. The interest earned by this family of funds is then returned to each home co-op for gifting to local nonprofits in any of the following areas: environment, community, farming and hunger, or cooperatives. 

Menomonie Market Food Co-op has selected the Dunn County chapter of the Wisconsin Farmers Union as the first recipient of a $1,500 award through the MMCCF. Rachel Henderson, farmer at Mary Dirty Face Farm (Menomonie, WI) and president of the Dunn County chapter, says, “We’re grateful for the community of co-ops that thrive in Menomonie, and in the coming year we will use these funds for the development of grower co-ops and to help solve the marketing and processing challenges faced by small and mid-sized farms.” Menomonie Market Food Co-op is a forty-six-year-old community-owned grocery cooperative whose mission is to be central in building a thriving, healthy community. The co-op offers full-service grocery, scratch-made deli meals, local foods, and knowledgeable, friendly service to everyone. It is located at 814 Main Street, Menomonie, WI, 54751, and its store hours are temporarily 8:00am-8:00pm daily. More information can be found at mmfc.coop. 

WisCommunity's Publisher Steve Hanson is a member of the Menomonie Market board and was one of the members of the Fund Our Foodshed Committee.

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