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Sunnyside Community Garden in Bloomington expanding access to fresh food

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UPDATE (7 p.m.) - The Bloomington City Council, without discussion, approved a license agreement Monday night allowing Sunnyside to run the community garden until the end of 2022. The agreement allows Sunnyside to pursue grants and other funding opportunities.

BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) - What started as a high school student's project, has transformed into opportunities to provide fruits and vegetables to residents in the Twin Cities.

Sunnyside Community Garden and Food Forrest has been a part of Bloomington for the past several years.

It offers gardening education to youth, and supplies healthy food to underserved residents.

Everything grown in the garden is donated to local food banks and organizations including the Boys and Girls Club, Home Sweet Home Ministries, Salvation Army and Veggie Oasis.

Farm Manager Caleb Phillips explained why he's passionate about the cause, stating everyone should have access to healthy, fresh food.

"We've seen that our zip code is struggling right now for people to be able to afford local fresh fruits and vegetables to make that a big staple and a part of their diet. So we want to be able to provide low cost fruits and vegetables to individuals," said Phillips.

Sunnyside also runs a summer programs to introduce children to healthy food at an early age and to also teach kids about farming practices.

Monday evening, during the Bloomington City council meeting, a proposed license between the city and Sunnyside is on the agenda, possibly widening the scope of the community garden's reach.

Lauren Melendez

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