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Healthy Eating in our...

We want to bring a variety of nutritious options to the community to ensure that everyone has access to healthy and affordable food. We work with food shelves, farmers markets, growers and others to expand access to healthier foods in our communities.


Success Stories

  • New SHIP Partner Gets Their Hands Dirty – Literally!

    Front Porch Management and Winona County PartnerSHIP (SHIP) are partnering to bring healthier foods and enhanced opportunities for physical activity to the area. 

    Prairie Island Campground serves approximately 2,000 people per month, which new management expects to increase thanks to additional attractions added this year. Front Porch Management began a community garden at Prairie Island Campground with 21 plots available to use for the season at no cost to campers or community members. The garden was developed as a way to bring healthy fresh foods to community members and guests of the campground, build community awareness of the importance of healthy foods and provide learning opportunities for area students in grades K-12.  SHIP partner, Riverway Learning Community, has had three, 2-hour work sessions to help prepare the garden for planting. Three of the garden plots will be grown for community consumption. Extra produce will be shared with short term campers, community members, and with the Winona Volunteer Services food shelf.

    “We want to start small and send a message to the community – we are building a culture here,” said Anne Conway, co-owner of Front Porch Management. “We are offering fun and safe ways to enjoy the Prairie Island community.”

    Other plans include a pollinator garden and rental of paddling equipment including canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards in partnership with Winona State University. Additional plans for the campground include a bicycle rack, bicycle fix-station, bicycle fleet, and signage in other languages to be more inclusive.

    Visit the Prairie Island Campground website or read the Winona Daily News article to learn more.

  • Strong Market Season Kick Off

    The Goodview Farmers Market kicked off its second season (first full season) on Thursday, May 3 and it started off strong. The market welcomed approximately 150 customers, many were families that biked to the event. In 2017, the market hosted six vendors. In 2018, 17 have applied so far and five more are expected later this growing season.

    A new, fun, free program that is already drawing interest while increasing access to healthy foods is the Power of Produce (PoP) Club. Thanks to funding from the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP), children ages 4 through 12 receive a reusable shopping bag and a token valued at $2 to be spent (by kids) on fresh produce. Kids receive their token once per market and have the choice to spend it that day on fresh, locally grown produce, or save it for a future market. 41 kids registered for the PoP Club at the market kick off and 59 more at the next market, which had one customer very excited. “It’s great that Goodview is offering a Farmers Market. We need something like this in this area. My kids are so excited for the Power of Produce Club – they can’t wait to come back,” she said.

    The Farmers Market runs every Thursday through October from 3:00 to 6:30 p.m. in the Elks Lodge Parking Lot, 4540 Service Drive, Goodview, MN. Register for the PoP Club at the market information table.

  • Growing the Goodview Farmers Market

    The Winona County PartnerSHIP is proud to support the Goodview Farmers Market as it prepares for its second season. Emily Conners of the Goodview Farmers Market Board of Directors and Shannon Randall of the City of Goodview attended the 2018 Minnesota Farmers Market Association Conference & Annual Meeting in Monticello, MN thanks to funding from the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership through the Minnesota Department of Health.

    “I was so impressed with the MFMA conference. We are very excited for the upcoming market season, with lots of ideas to make this the best market possible,” said Shannon Randall, Goodview Farmers Market Coordinator

    One new program that the market is considering this year is the Power of Produce (PoP) Club. This incentive program provides children ages 4 to 12 with a $2 token each week to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables. The primary goals of the program are to improve the eating behavior of children and increase family attendance at the farmers market.

  • Beyond Addiction – Optimizing Healthy Eating

    Drug Court of Winona County (DCWC) aims to prolong and improve the lives of participants by helping them recover from addiction. Often, one unhealthy habit is replaced with another when a person begins recovery. For example, once a person stops using drugs, they often eat excessively, and usually the food is unhealthy. Beyond addiction and mental health issues, the participants have often been in poverty, homeless, or had other living challenges; this often leads to people not knowing how to make nutritious choices or even knowing how to cook.

    In the summer of 2017, DCWC received a SHIP mini grant to implement a program focused on nutrition education and optimizing healthy eating. The program provided Drug Court participants with the knowledge and materials needed to create better eating habits on a cost-effective budget. Through Winona Volunteer Services, a nutritionist taught participants how to prepare and cook meals that are healthy, quick, and affordable. The Hy-Vee dietician offered walk through tours of the store, showing participants where to look for healthy foods and also how to create meals that would work specifically for each participant’s needs, allergies, or dietary restrictions.

  • Project FINE Colorful Growers

    The Project FINE Colorful Growers program aims to promote agriculture and entrepreneurship among diverse youth. During the grant period of April to September, 2017, three families participated in project activities. Participants met to divide the garden into plots and plan what they would plant. In late April, they started seeds in trays so that they would grow into seedlings to plant in the garden. The garden was ready for planting in early June, and the program provided seeds and tools for families. Throughout the summer, the youth tended their garden plots and harvested their produce. SHIP grant funds were used to purchase gardening and hoop house materials.

  • Goodview Farmers Market

    The City of Goodview launched a Farmers Market in the summer of 2017. The mission of the Goodview Farmers Market is to bring together local growers and artisans, support local farmers and businesses, and provide a thriving and inclusive gathering place for all residents of our community.

    The market generated great interest, with over 140 people attending the kick-off event. The weekly market offers fresh produce, artisan items, music and food trucks featuring fresh, local products. SHIP funds assisted with the start up costs of canopies, signage and advertising.

    See our coverage in the Winona Post for more information.

  • East Recreation Center Community Garden

    The East Recreation Center (ERC) implemented a community garden, supported by SHIP funds, comprised of 50 plots of various sizes. The garden is tended and nurtured by multiple groups and individuals within the Winona community. The garden has increased opportunities for good nutrition and physical activity for residents of Winona. The addition of a community garden has positively impacted the economic, social and physical environment at the East Recreation Center. The garden helps foster wellness within the mind, body and spirit through gardening and programming, and celebrates diversity, creativity and sustainability. Garden programming in the first year includes a tea party, potluck, yoga and mindfulness.

  • Healthier Menu Options

    Live Well, Eat Well is menu labeling wellness initiative developed to help customers easily identify healthier menu choices when dining out. The criteria used for this program is based on Mindful by Sodexo. Live Well, Eat Well menu items are reviewed by a Winona Health registered dietitian using a food analysis program to ensure the nutritional criteria are met. Offering information on healthy menu options allows consumers to make informed decisions that support a healthy lifestyle. SHIP funds contributed to promotion, supplies and staff training.

  • Empowering Health Ambassadors

    Project FINE has been a long-standing partner. Between April and September of 2016, SHIP mini-grant funds supported the Health Promotion project in providing an avenue for refugees and immigrants to make long term health improvements and inspire others to lead healthier lives. The ‘promotora’ approach equips and empowers participants to become health ambassadors in their circles of influence by modeling and promoting healthy behavior.

    SHIP grant funds were used to support the creation of a community health guide and the purchase of supplies for outreach activities. Participants selected and led the outreach, including home visits to share the health guide, having blood pressure and BMI checks during community events and meetings, organizing exercise classes and inviting the Winona Area Public Schools Nutrition Director to meet with parents and share information about healthy school food choices.

    During the grant period, 55 individuals participated in project activities. 23 served as promotoras for activities in Winona and St. Charles, and 32 attended outreach events. 10 large group events were held and promotoras completed 20 outreach visits to their friends, family and peers.

  • Winona County Garden-in-a-Box

    Winona County is focused on addressing local food projects, including farmers’ markets, community gardens, and farm to institution programs. In an effort to promote farm to childcare programming at Winona County childcare centers, MN Greencorps member, Ben Mompier, and other County staff implemented a project to integrate nutritional training and gardening at childcare centers.

    The project involved a CATCH Nutrition training that was instructed by Brenda Pohlman, a health educator from Fillmore County. The training focused on healthy eating for children at childcare centers and some gardening activities. Each attendee received a “It’s Fun to be Healthy” CATCH early childhood curriculum. Linda Jacobs from Community Education with the Winona Public School District was a key partner. The CATCH training was hosted in conjunction with a morning childcare training. Linda was instrumental in providing outreach to the childcare providers as well as a location to hold the training. The project also provided garden-in-a-box kits to five of the attendees. The garden kit consisted of a 3’ by 3’ poly garden raised bed square, soil, fertilizer and seeds.

    The gardens can help address food access and availability needs at the childcare sites. In addition to providing gardening activities, education for childcare providers and a source of healthy food, the gardens also connect children with agriculture and educate them on the source of their food. The children that participate and use the garden not only get the benefit of having access to healthy food but will also build skills and an appreciation of agriculture that will last them a lifetime and be passed to future generations.

    “I’m very excited and already have a lot of ideas for things to do with the garden”
    – Jenny Austin, St. Mary’s Educare

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