Skip to main content

During pandemic, advocates turn to ‘Farmers Market in a Box’

Free boxes of fruits and vegetables, mixed dairy items and meat will be available Friday at Allianz Field
Screen Shot 2019-02-28 at 12.06.25 PM

This Friday, people can drive up to Allianz Field and receive 50 pounds of excess products from Minnesota farmers.

It’s the first installment of “Farmer’s Market in a Box,” created by Keystone Community Services, Second Harvest Heartland, Allianz Life and Minnesota United FC.

From 10 a.m. to noon, volunteers will distribute fruits, vegetables, dairy, chicken and pork to each car, with food for up to 700 households.

The event is planned to repeat monthly over the summer, said Jen Winterfeldt, director of development and community engagement at Keystone Community Services.

In addition, Keystone will be hosting similar events at different locations throughout St. Paul, Winterfeldt said.

With a shortage of restaurant clients because of the pandemic, farmers have been contacting the United States Department of Agriculture to report leftover products, she said. USDA then passes on the information to Minnesota’s largest food bank, Second Harvest Heartland, which has coordinated with food shelves for distribution.

Normally, Keystone and Allianz Field host Farmers Market-style events where people can pick up produce monthly each summer, beginning in July, when most Minnesota crops are ready.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

When the pandemic hit, organizers began discussing the box idea for later this summer. But after destruction hit grocers and other Midway businesses, Winterfeldt and her co-organizers decided to speed up the process.

“We were in conversation about how now more than ever, events like this are part of healing and a way to safely get food out to the community. So we all just kinda put our heads together and thought, can we pull this off?” she said. 

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves survive Knicks' second-half barrage to get back to .500

Karl-Anthony Towns' lay-in helped Minnesota get a win in The Garden.

FLickr - crime scene tape do not crozz

Charges: MN teen shot mom after dispute over meth

The girl's mother said there had been a dispute over methamphetamine.

bad roads, blizzard

No travel advised: High winds, whiteout conditions in NW MN

Zero visibility in parts of greater Minnesota Tuesday night.

holy angels high school j nelson

Update: Holy Angels evacuated over bomb threat, school says

Someone left a voicemail early Tuesday suggesting there was an explosive device.

radio station, microphone

Convicted stalker charged with harassment of another DJ at The Current

He pleaded guilty to similar charges involving the DJ's colleague back in 2015.

Mall of America exterior Tyler Vigen Wikimedia COmmons

10 new shops, food stops at Mall of America

Donuts, K-fashion, model cars — the new tenants cover a lot of bases.

Gophers basketball

Gophers fall below roster minimum, postpone Penn State game

It is "due to internal COVID-19 protocols within the Golden Gopher program."

Raheem Morris

Report: Vikings request interview with Rams' Raheem Morris

Morris was once the youngest head coach in the NFL at 33 years old.

train crossing S Boardman Ave, New York Mills, Minnesota - August 2013 crop GSV

Sheriff: Drunk driver crashed trying to 'beat the train'

The BNSF train slammed into the side of the driver's car.


Man run over after parking dispute leads to road rage crash

The two groups fought about parking prior to the crash.

hwy 41 engler boulevard crash crop

Deadly crash shuts down small stretch of Chaska highway for hours

A driver crossed over the center median and hit another vehicle.

covid test 6

You can now order 4 free at-home COVID tests from the government

Tests will ship for free within 7-12 days, according to the White House.


Mall of America

MOA offers space for local businesses hurt by riots, pandemic

The Mall of America has announced 17 local vendors will set up shop in their space

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 11.27.08 AM

New data predicts Depression-era level of food need in Minnesota

The state's largest food bank says McKinsey & Co. projects need for food to peak in September.

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 11.27.08 AM

Hunger hotline reports record number of calls since July

It's one of several metrics showing increased hunger in Minnesota.

image (1)

After union push, Hennepin County gives employees child care leave during pandemic

Until the county's declared emergency ends, employees can now take 160 hours of two-thirds paid leave. The county also created opportunities for negative leave to be forgiven.


For anniversary sale, Electric Fetus turns to reservations

With a $25 donation to local nonprofits, customers can reserve a time slot to browse records at the iconic shop


SNAP benefits can now be used to buy food online in Minnesota

Walmart and Amazon are the sole online retailers approved for SNAP purchases

alma cafe sign

Restaurant Alma opts to close indoor dining during winter months

The Marcy Holmes business will stay open for takeout and operate its small hotel

Governor Tim Walz

'You are part of this response': Walz answers student journalists on pandemic

"You're seeing this, and I just can't believe you think this is the best way to live," he told students of the nation's divisive climate.