FOOD, GARDENS, AND YOUTH
North Minneapolis has fewer large grocery stores than other neighborhoods, and more corner grocery stores with high prices and more processed food. Counteracting this is the development of a local green garden movement with more than fifteen gardens in the area, some of which have developed a distribution system that provides food to needy residents in the summer months. There is interest in extending food production to the winter season with greenhouses.
The population of North Minneapolis is relatively young. The high number of children, youth and young adults combined with a predominance of low-income families means that access to free or affordable activities is essential. There is also a high rate of children in foster care, and homelessness among young people. After graduation from high school and from foster care young people are especially vulnerable to houselessness.
Additionally, since the pandemic there has been a high rate of gun violence among young people, related to trauma and mental health issues. Many youths have too much time on their hands. Organizations, including non-profits, gardening groups, and church groups are addressing youth needs, but more action is needed, perhaps youth-led. Having mental health treatment available with therapists from the community is important. Also essential are affordable after-school activities, job training and jobs for youth and young adults.