Public Health Innovation Project Showcase

DULUTH, Minn. – St. Louis County hosted its first ever Public Health Innovation Project Showcase, highlighting the success of five local projects over the past couple years.

In 2020 the county distributed more than $360 thousand dollars to five community organizations devoted to addressing health wellness and support, substance use, and food insecurity.

Organizations taking part included Range Mental Health, which created a mobile response unit, AICHO, which developed a community kitchen, and Recovery Alliance Duluth, which expanded its programming to the northern part of St. Louis County.

“We’re not clinical and that’s a beautiful thing to be able to have an opportunity to be able to work with people and just meet them where they’re at. We really are dedicated to eradicating the stigma that surrounds substance use disorders, substance use issues, recovery,” Recovery Alliance Duluth Personnel Beth Elstad says.

One organization in attendance, Ecolibrium 3, has used the funding they’ve received to install a portable garden, which they did by sewing and distributing 200 grain bags to help with food insecurity.

“As you saw with all the organizations here today, doing is tough and it requires many iterations. And to ask questions and to go back again and fix that program or something that was awkward or didn’t work and to do it again and to do it better and so this kind of grant funding helps us do that,” Ecolibrium 3 Director of Community Food Systems, Teresa Bertossi says.

Ecolibrium 3 is involved with the Stone Soup program, which partners with the Duluth Community Garden Program, Community Action Duluth, and the Duluth Children’s Museum.

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