Image for May Positive Change: Urban Roots

Create Positive Change

Each time you shop at the co-op, you have a chance to directly support local community partners by donating your 10-cent reusable bag credits and rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar. It may only be a few cents or spare change, but your generosity makes a huge impact — to the tune of over $10,000 each month for our Positive Change recipients!

This May, maximize your impact at the register. In honor of our 40th anniversary, we’re providing a 40-percent co-op funded match of all Positive Change funds donated for Urban Roots. During last October’s annual board election, member-owners were asked to vote for one of three nonprofit organizations to receive May’s matching funds, and Urban Roots was selected.

Urban Roots

May’s Positive Change recipient is Urban Roots, a Saint Paul organization that cultivates and empowers youth through nature, healthy food, and community. Founded in 1969, Urban Roots (formerly Community Design Center of Minnesota) has provided a range of community development services in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and throughout southern Minnesota, with a common thread of empowerment, engagement, and innovation. Since 1996, Urban Roots has operated food and environmental programming on Saint Paul’s East Side, engaging thousands of youth and families in education, training, and work projects that provide service to the community, develop young leaders, and improve personal and environment health. Their current youth internships include their Market Garden, Cook Fresh, and Conservation programs.

Internship Programs

Market Garden Program

Youth plant, maintain, and harvest small-scale urban agriculture sites and are involved in produce sales and marketing. Last year, youth harvested over 10,500 pounds of food using organic growing methods. During the local growing season, Urban Roots’ Market Garden produce, including radishes, herbs, mixed greens, and more are sold at Mississippi Market’s East 7th store.

Cook Fresh Crew

Interns are trained as park ambassadors to create greater connections between youth and the outdoors, enabling a greater sense of place and pride in the community. Participants focus on invasive species removal, native seed collection, and installation of pollinator and rain gardens.

Conservation Program

Youth learn about the food that Market Garden interns grow and how to prepare fresh homemade meals using it. They also develop healthful recipes and create value-added products for sale, such as chutneys, salsas, and sauces.

Funds raised at co-op registers in May will support Urban Roots’ paid internship programs and help increase their capacity to serve young people on the East Side.