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MDVA’s sustainability efforts are helping feed its community and reduce food waste

7/15/2020 10:00:00 AM

MDVA Go GreenIn Minnesota, food waste is 20 percent of our trash and at the same time, roughly 10 percent of our residents do not have consistent access to enough food. Additionally, food insecurity has recently increased because of COVID-19’s economic impact. In support of its communities and advancing sustainability, the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) is working with local partners to help keep food on the plates of our neighbors and out of the landfills.

MDVA’s main source of food preparation and potential for food waste occurs in our five Minnesota Veterans Homes. Two of our Minnesota Veterans Homes are working with local not-for-profit organizations that provide support and services for community members experiencing economic and social challenges.

The Minnesota Veterans Home - Silver Bay contracts with the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) to provide meals for the community. The AEOA picks up meals that remain after serving Residents and distributes the food to community members. The meals go to 13 local seniors who receive five to seven meals per week.

The Minnesota Veterans Home - Fergus Falls Homes partners with their local Salvation Army. Similar to the AEOA, the Salvation Army picks up remaining meals and baked goods for community distribution. The Minnesota Veterans Home - Fergus Falls also donates food that is past the use-by dates because being past the use-by date does not impact food safety, it only prohibits that food from being served to Residents. Additionally, specialty food products that are no longer needed are donated instead of thrown away. The Salvation Army is able to package complete meals for seniors from these items and feed individuals for several days.

These local partnerships and the resulting critical community support are only possible because of the hard work and dedication of Minnesota Veterans Home - Silver Bay and Minnesota Veterans Home - Fergus Falls. Thank you to the staff and the Residents for helping the environment and taking care of your community.

Did you know the average household in St. Paul wastes almost $100 worth of food every month? To find out how you can reduce food waste in your household, visit: for tips on food storage and meal planning.

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