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Positive Change – Open Arms of Minnesota

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People who are sick should not be without food. Yet everyday, people in our community with life-threatening illnesses find themselves unable to shop or cook – and often, without the support network to help.

December’s Positive Change recipient is Open Arms of Minnesota, a local nonprofit founded in 1986 that delivers free, nutritious meals specifically tailored to meet the needs of individuals living with life-threatening and chronic illnesses in the Twin Cities. Open Arms provides meals to over 1,000 clients per week and over a half-million meals per year to people living with cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and ALS, as well as to their caregivers and dependents. Please help them celebrate 30 years of making a positive change in our community!

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Positive Change – Midwest Food Connection

November’s Positive Change recipient is Midwest Food Connection, a local nonprofit that empowers elementary school children to make healthy and responsible food choices.

MFC_LogoConcept_V3Midwest Food Connection (MFC) creates elementary school lessons specifically for kindergarten, primary, and intermediate grades. Each year they partner with over 50 schools in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area, reaching over 6,700 children with classroom lessons. MCF’s educators teach about healthy eating, local and natural foods, as well as sustainable and organic agriculture.

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Welcoming Marshall as the new Selby Store Manager

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Please join us in welcoming Marshall Wright as the new Selby Store Manager! You might recognize Marshall – he started with Mississippi Market in 1997 as a produce clerk at the former Randolph location. Marshall spent the next 14 years as the Produce Manager at Linden Hills Co-op, where he honed his leadership skills.

Marshall is thrilled to contribute his energy and experience to our co-op and the Saint Paul community, where he’s lived for the past 18 years. He brings a life-long passion for cooperatives and local, organic food to the position. Welcome, Marshall!

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Positive Change – Cooperative Development Services

cds-logo-150To celebrate National Co-op Month, we’re supporting Cooperative Development Services (CDS), a local St. Paul-based nonprofit that helps local farmers and producers develop business plans and access funds to grow their sustainable, organic, or cooperative businesses.

  • CDS assists in developing and supporting local Minnesota farmer cooperatives and food vendors
  • CDS also actively pursues and engages new cooperative businesses in order to help them successfully launch and plan for long-term viability in the marketplace
  • They have provided support to a number of Mississippi Market’s farmers and food vendors, including Thousand Hills Cattle Company, Featherstone Farm, Whistling Well Farm, Hoch Orchards & Gardens, Pastures A Plenty Farm, Whole Grain Milling Company, and more

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Welcoming James as the new East 7th Store Manager

James Lewis is a familiar face at Mississippi Market, and has worked in various positions (including Deli cook, Selby Deli Manager, and Central Kitchen Manager) since he started 6 1/2 years ago.

James is excited to bring his experience in food and team-building and fresh perspective to the position and serve as a trusted resource in fresh, natural foods for our East 7th neighbors.

Congratulations James!

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Information on Patronage Dividend

Fiscal Year 2016, which ended on June 30, proved to be very challenging for our co-op. Building a new store is a tremendous amount of work, and many staff hours went into getting our East 7th store up and running. While we are very pleased with the store, we have work to do to build sales. Furthermore, as projected, we ended the fiscal year with a loss. As a result, we will not be distributing a patronage dividend this year.

While we did not have a profitable past year, we did have other incredibly important successes:

  • Our sales grew to $31,600,705, a 13 percent increase over the prior year.
  • 2,372 new members joined the co-op, and 79 percent of our business was done with member-owners.
  • We purchased $8,584,013 from 142 local producers and Minnesota-owned companies—wonderful businesses like Schultz Family Farms, Great Harvest Bakery, and Hoch Orchards.
  • We raised $115,343 in donations for our Positive Change program, benefiting 12 different area nonprofits, including Dream of Wild Health, Permaculture Research Institute Cold Climate, Growing West Side, and Frogtown Farm, among others.
  • We added 48 jobs and, at the end of the fiscal year, had 255 employees. Our staff is the foundation of our success. We are committed to offering a competitive wage-and-benefit package and pay St. Paul’s living wage to eligible employees. At the end of June, 70.5 percent of staff were full-time. 100 percent of those eligible, 63 percent of total staff, were at or above St. Paul’s living wage of $12.85.
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Positive Change – Hmong American Farmers Association

We’re proud that our reusable bag donation program reflects our overall mission as a co-op. With Positive Change, your reusable bag credit is worth 10¢ each. Choose to keep it, or donate it to our monthly non-profit recipients. Plus, in the spirit of making a greater impact on our community, you can round up to support these organizations every time you shop! In September, your donations will go to support the work of Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) Alternative Market Program. Read more …

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Food, Farmers, and Food Justice on the East Side Panel Discussion

Join us at the East 7th Street store from 6:00-7:30pm on Wednesday, September 21 for an evening exploring food justice on the East Side of St. Paul. Mississippi Market staff will moderate an informative discussion regarding the need to ensure access to healthy food and promote a thriving local food economy for everyone. Read more …

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CSA Cookbook Signing

Save the dates – from September 1-3 local author of Bounty From the Box: The CSA Farm Cookbook, Mi Ae Lipe, will be hosting a book signing at all three of our co-op locations. Read more …

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Positive Change – Slow Money MN: Grow a Farmer Fund

We’re proud that our reusable bag donation program reflects our overall mission as a co-op. With Positive Change, your reusable bag credit is worth 10¢ each. Choose to keep it, or donate it to our monthly non-profit recipients. Plus, in the spirit of making a greater impact on our community, you can round up to support these organizations every time you shop! In August, your donations will go to support the work of Slow Money Minnesota’s Grow a Farmer Fund.

Read more …

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