Sprout MN receives farm to school grant

Sprout MN will work to improve access to local foods in eligible schools by utilizing existing resources in an innovative hands-on approach

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Contributed / Metro Newspaper Service

LITTLE FALLS — Sprout MN, in collaboration with Independent School Districts 181 and 182, received a U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm to School Grant to expand the use of locally grown products through the schools’ lunch programs.

Sprout MN will work to improve access to local foods in eligible schools by using existing resources in a hands-on approach by engaging students, local culinary experts, farmers and food service staff to develop recipes maximizing Minnesota’s short growing season of local commodities, a news release stated. Once developed, these recipes will be shared with all districts in the central Minnesota region.

Arlene Jones, Sprout’s executive director, stated in the release, “We are looking to maximize opportunities to continue to support small family farms in central Minnesota through the longstanding relationships with food service directors and to continue our efforts on innovative ways to continue to introduce locally grown, nutritious foods onto the plates of our school-aged children.”

Sprout’s stated mission is to connect and strengthen the local food system as a regional asset to grow and contribute to central Minnesota. The organization’s belief is food, art and culture are core and integral in the promotion of health, sustainability and vitality.

Sprout is a regional food hub and indoor marketplace located in Little Falls. The space primarily serves four primary functions:


  • As a year-round market for growers and artists to market their locally produced food and artworks to central Minnesota residents and tourists;

  • To provide a local foods processing facility for local growers to use to can, freeze, etc. value-added products;

  • To house a cooking demonstration kitchen, and

  • To facilitate the wholesale aggregation, storage and distribution of local foods as part of the Sprout Food Hub for institutional sales.

For more information, visit and follow Sprout MN on Facebook.

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