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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Sunday May 19th 2024

Backyard Initiative Back Page – July

Big transition for the Backyard Initiative amidst many activities

Backyard Initiative Becoming a Cooperative

A leadership team of the BYI planning and deliberating on what it will take to transition from the BYI to becoming a Cooperative.

The BYI began with Allina Health engaging in many conversations with community stakeholders in early 2008. In December of the same year, Allina Health made a 10-year commitment to partner with the Cultural Wellness Center, a Minneapolis-based community organization to design and facilitate the community engagement process. Our work is grounded in a simple premise””that active community and cultural connections are the foundation of good health.

This remarkable partnership began with a commitment between the partners to sustain this unique initiative for 10 years. The year 2018 began the final year of this partnership in its current form, largely funded by the financial contributions of Allina put alongside of the power of culture, connections and the substantial social capital of many residents, what is known as the 3 C”'s: Culture, Connections and Capital. This will not hearken the end of the Backyard Initiative. Instead, work began in earnest at the end of last year to transition to become a community caregiving cooperative””yet to be named. Many meetings are taking place within the leadership teams of the Backyard Initiative to thoughtfully discuss, design and implement a model that moves away from a nonprofit model where funding has to be secured to produce products and activities to a cooperative venture where those products and activities become the means to sustaining this enterprise. The 10 years of leadership skills that have been developed within the Backyard Initiative will be used to establish and govern this cooperative. The social connections, cultural knowledge and caregiving expertise will all be incorporated into this new, economic enterprise. Stay tuned for more details later this year about this exciting endeavor! Or if you have questions, please call or stop in and talk to Ms. Roberta Barnes at the BYI Resource Center in the Midtown Global Market. 612-353-6211.

”¦And MORE activities of the Backyard Initiative!

Zumaya Delicious Catering, Chef Robert Taylor, serves a delicious, healthy meal at Triple D”'s dinners.

Diabetes Prevention Program

Another partnership held by the BYI is with the City of Minneapolis and the MN Department of Health is called the Diabetes Prevention Program or DPP. People with pre-diabetes have a blood sugar level higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered diabetic. One in three Americans have pre-diabetes and don”'t even know it. The DPP helps people eat better and be more active in an effort to reverse pre-diabetes or prevent diabetes.

The Backyard Initiative also hosts a Triple D”'s dinner each month””Dinner and Dialogue on Prevention and Diabetic Maintenance. Triple D”'s dinners typically occur the first Thursdays of the month and will resume August 2, 5 to 7pm, at the Midtown Global Market in the center area.

reTHINK Your Drink

In partnership with the City of Minneapolis through a grant-funded contract, the Backyard Initiative led by the BYI Resource Center staff, successfully completed a two-phase campaign called “reTHINK Your Drink”. This education campaign informs consumers about sugar consumption in soda and juices. The BYI is now engaged in a new contract to host educational events this summer in parks, community centers and day care establishments in the 7 neighborhood area of the Backyard Initiative.

reTHINK Your Drink educational display in the Midtown Global Market staffed by a STEP-UP interns.


STEP-UP staff and interns readying the containers for planting.

STEP-UP Discover

The Backyard Initiative enjoyed hosting STEP-UP youth interns during the summer of 2017 and has 9 STEP-UP Discover interns this summer. Their job responsibilities will include planting and growing herbs in container planters at the Midtown Global Market. They will also participate in Slow Roll Biking activities along the Greenway, carrying key messages that create awareness around the adverse health effects of large and consistent consumption of sugar sweetened beverages. Interns will enhance or gain skills in: customer service, leadership, communication, computer, financial management, project development, and entrepreneurship. They will also assist in reTHINK Your Drink summer activities within and around the Midtown Global Market.

STEP-UP Discover offers entry-level internships for youth 14 and 15 years of age. These internships are intended to reach out to youth with limited work experience and are designed to develop skills and explore interests in preparation for more challenging opportunities, including STEP-UP Achieve. The STEP-UP program is directed by the City of Minneapolis”'s office of Community Planning and Economic Development.


Wages Study Opportunity

If you are over 18 years of age and work for 10 hours a week or more with in Minne­apolis for $11.50 an hour or less, you may be eligible to participate in a Wages Study and earn up to $70. The study will look at the possible connection between the Minneapolis Wage increase and health. Contact
U of M study staff at 612-624-7673 or stop in at the BYI Resource Center every Thursday from 4 to 6 pm.


VISIT the BYI Resource Center
at the Midtown Global Market
(just West of the Lake Street entrance)
to learn more about the Backyard Initiative and any of its activities
or call 612-353-6211
The BYI Resource Center hours are 10am to 6pm, Monday through Saturday

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