Community Food Assessment

The Morris Healthy Eating Community Food Assessment documents an engaged and enthusiastic community ready for greater access to affordable fresh fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods. The report was published in 2010.

A yearlong comprehensive community food assessment shows:

  • college students and community members with an interest in better health and in eating healthy foods;
  • abundant community food and health resources;
  • some barriers to healthy eating;
  • a host of opportunities to provide greater access to affordable healthy foods.

The report summarizes the work of the Morris Healthy Eating team since its founding in 2009. Its recommendations offer a map to a healthier future for the University of Minnesota, Morris, the city of Morris, and Stevens County.

Community Food Assessment findings

The Community Food Assessment is available in the following formats:

Some Morris Healthy Eating Community Food Assessment findings

Expand all

Morris area residents are eager to find healthy foods.

On the University of Minnesota, Morris campus:

  • Nine out of 10 students agreed that if they ate more fruits and vegetables, they would reduce their risk for some chronic diseases and cancers.
  • Eight out of 10 had started making changes to eat a healthier diet or planned to in the next three months.

In the Community of Morris:

  • Morris residents list nutrition as their top priority in choosing foods.
  • Nine out of 10 Pomme de Terre Foods (PDT) customers would purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at PDT.
  • Four out of five Stevens Community Medical Center staff support a “healthy food option of the day” at the cafeteria.

Barriers to Healthy Eating

On the University of Minnesota, Morris campus:

  • Students identify cost as the greatest barrier to eating healthy foods.
  • Stress is second.

In the Community of Morris:

  • More people would like to garden but need access to land and other resources;
  • People would like more fresh, healthy local foods;
  • There is no 24-hour grocery store in the community;
  • More than one-third of Stevens County residents rely on SNAP food benefits (food stamps) to access healthy foods.

People would eat healthier on campus if…

  • healthy foods were less expensive;
  • healthy foods that individuals like and prefer were offered;
  • more fruits and vegetables were included in menu items and at campus gatherings.

People would eat healthier in the community if…

  • cooking classes were provided;
  • resources for gardening were available;
  • there were more farmers markets;
  • healthy options at restaurants and events were offered.