Twin Cities program helps increase access to quality food

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A local program is helping people stretch your food dollars a little further and help those less fortunate at the same time.

"We just come to stretch our holiday budget out," said Joanne Dawson.

At Grace Church in Eden Prairie, it’s a free for all for food.

"We are picking up a holiday pack," said Dawson.

By buying all the fixings for her Christmas dinner at the event, Dawson is helping make sure the opportunity to get affordable nutrition is fair for all as well.

"It’s easy,” said Dawson. “It’s quick. We know what we are getting and it’s at a very fair price. More than fair price."

She's one of a couple dozen shoppers who stopped by the traveling food program called Fare For All. The non-profit buys frozen meats and fresh vegetables in bulk and then bundles and sells them at up to 40 percent off what they would cost at the grocery store. It’s an effort to give people better access to food that's both inexpensive and healthy.

"When people go into the grocery store, the most expensive items are frozen meats and fruits and vegetables,” said Scott Weatherhead, the program director of Fare For All. “They are things that are the best for you."

Fare For All sets up shop at 38 locations around Minnesota for a couple of hours at time at least once a month. Unlike other food programs, it’s open to everyone regardless of income.

"The biggest misconception is that people say I don't want to go to Fare For All because I'm not struggling for food,” said Weatherhead. “We want as many people to come because the more people who come here the more food we buy. The more food we buy, the lower our costs."

In the end, Dawson says saving money on her monthly food bill while giving someone a helping hand just makes cents.

"It’s a great place to come and I hope everyone will come,” said Dawson.

Fare For All says most of its food packages range from $10 to $30. For more information, click here.