In 2019, MFAN launched our first multi-year, network-wide initiative, building off the work of the MFAN Local Government Action Team and following the lead of other metro regions.


Together from 2019 - 2022 we are seeking to leverage the collective capacity of partners to create an equity-based regional food systems action plan for the 7-county Twin Cities metro region. 

History: With MFAN’s support, nearly half of the metro area cities included some form of food access in their 2018 comprehensive plans. Right now, we have a unique opportunity to coordinate efforts across our region. Learn more

Purpose: To align and amplify planning goals, community efforts, and Minnesota Food Charter strategies across the 7-county metro region to advance equitable access to healthy food for all residents.


Potential Impact: Concrete strategies, coupled with benchmarks to measure progress, an equity-based regional food systems plan could improve many social determinants of health, creating better access to healthy, safe, affordable food for the region’s 3 million residents.

Key Resources: 

  • Metro Vancouver Regional Food Systems Action Plan 

  • Delaware Valley Regional Food Systems Planning

  • 10 Reasons for Regional Planning

Why Planning?
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How To Get Involved

To do this work effectively we are relying on the support from all our partners. Following is a suggested path, based on the feedback and input from MFAN members in 2018. We look forward to the work emerging as we engage together. 


  • Create a list of promising practices for developing a regional food systems action plan based on what other regions have learned.

    • Roles of MFAN Partners: Help with research and development of practices


  • Identify our equity-approach to how the future planning efforts will take place

    • Roles of MFAN Partners: Meet with people from The Alliance - Advancing Regional Equity to learn more about how MFAN could use and adapt their model to ensure equity exists in all facets of the creation and implementation of the plan. Develop a set of expectations for the network to follow to ensure equity is forefront in all decision making for this process. Ensure community voice and community-based organizations play an integral part of the process.


  • Engage city and county staff, including planners and SHIP coordinators, to connect comprehensive planning strategies with partners for implementation.

    • Roles of MFAN Partners: Connect cities, counties, and partners to begin to build relationships and plan collaborative action.


  • Identify the sectors that are most interrelated to the food system that we will focus on in future planning efforts and start building relationships in these sectors.

    • Roles of MFAN Partners: Help identify and build relationships and leverage existing relationships within other sectors.


  • Identify short and long-term funding opportunities to support the development and launch of this plan.

    • Role of MFAN Partners: Assist in identifying funding opportunities and support leveraging new funds for this project.



  • Continue building relationships with key stakeholders and fundraising

  • Create overarching goals and objectives for the plan

  • Form Action Teams to divvy the work up

  • Develop a template for the plan

  • Begin writing the plan



  • Continue building relationships with key stakeholders and fundraising

  • Develop a system of measurement for the plan

  • Develop an accountability system for the plan

  • Finalize the plan



  • Continue building relationships with key stakeholders and fundraising

  • Launch the measurement and accountability systems for the plan

  • Market the plan