ST. PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee (MNSBHC) Legacy Fund today awarded Frogtown Farm with a $50,000 grant to help build an outdoor kitchen and education space. This grant marks $2 million in funds donated so far to Minnesota community projects focused on the health and wellness of kids.
Frogtown Farm is one of the largest urban farms in the country. Many community members participate in growing the food while meeting neighbors and learning from one another. The new outdoor kitchen and education space will help the farm engage more of the Frogtown neighborhood in healthy eating practices by introducing new ways for residents to incorporate organic, healthy produce into their diets. When the kitchen is completed this month it will help the farm’s community development process by celebrating the diverse cultures represented in the Frogtown neighborhood, a community in which 42 percent of residents live below the poverty line.
The grant is part of the Minnesota Super Bowl Legacy Grant Program, which is made possible each year by a $1 million contribution courtesy of the NFL Foundation and is complemented by the Super Bowl Host Committee. Through its 52 Weeks of Giving campaign, the MNSBHC has launched a year-long effort to make Super Bowl LII a statewide event by awarding 52 communities with grants that will help improve the health and wellness of young people in Minnesota.
The MNSBHC and Frogtown Farm hosted a celebration today to commemorate the grant. St. Paul-based Seitu Jones, an artist, community activist and co-founder of Frogtown Farm joined the celebration and spoke about the important role food – growing, harvesting, preserving and cooking it – plays in bringing together community. After the commemoration, young people from the Frogtown neighborhood made potpourri bags and cooked outdoors to celebrate the outdoor kitchen and community space the grant will help establish.
“We have a lot of kids in our neighborhood, 35 percent of residents are under 18,” said Eartha Bell, Executive Director, Frogtown Farm. “This grant helps us to reach more young people and families through our community-based education. By bringing together neighbors to learn and share healthy, affordable and culturally-specific recipes we build community connections and increase access to healthy foods. The education space and kitchen will impact skills and knowledge in a positive way, so these young people can then share what they’ve learned with their families and the community.”
The education space will serve many purposes to benefit the health and wellness of Frogtown residents. Skill sharing, workshops, certifications, demonstrations, event exhibits and volunteer opportunities are all part of the education programs the outdoor kitchen will facilitate. It will also serve as an event food service space, where cooks can prep and prepare food to serve to visitors during farm-wide events. A small meeting area will also be constructed to give people a place to sit and bond with their neighbors.
“Understanding where your food comes from is so important to the overall health and wellness of a young person,” said Dana Nelson, Vice President of Legacy and Community Partnerships for the MNSBHC Legacy Fund. “We are pleased to make this grant and help Frogtown Farm expand and provide new resources and access to a healthy lifestyle to residents of St. Paul. The host committee is so excited to celebrate the Legacy Fund’s $2 million milestone today, with the young people and families of the Frogtown community.”
The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee is a private, non-profit corporation formed to plan and execute Super Bowl LII. For more information visit www.mnsuperbowl.com and follow @mnsuperbowl2018 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.