Category Archives: Uncategorized

Examining the “Grocery Gap”

Blue Cross / Blue Shield is pitching a story to KFAI regarding the “Grocery Gap”

Assignment:  Do a Morning Blend interview or a produced field piece about statewide efforts to address this problem.  Is this one area where residents of rural Minnesota and low-income inner city residents might find common purpose?

Press release below:

Minnesotans say the state’s “grocery gap” is a barrier to healthy eating, according to a new poll commissioned by the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

The Center announced the latest findings from its state-wide poll that show a majority of those polled say not all Minnesotans have access to healthy food and stores that offer healthy choices is an obstacle for many.

Would you be interested in a story about the poll findings showing how our surroundings – the places where, we live, work and play – impact our access to healthy food? And, to set up a time to talk with the head of the Center or one of the community groups involved in healthy solutions throughout the state?

Some interesting findings include:

  • A “grocery gap” is felt by many Minnesotans, with nearly half (49 percent) reporting that not having a store nearby that sells healthy food impacts what they eat. Most Minnesotans (73 percent) also say difficulty finding healthy food on-the-go influences their decisions.

The results of the poll underscore how much a person’s surroundings can influence the choices they make and ultimately impact their health. I’ve included the news release in this email (see below).

To illustrate the state’s “grocery gap,” we have included a link to the infographic and fact sheet.

Please let me know your thoughts and I’ll put you in touch with the head of the Center or one of the community groups involved in healthy solutions in your area.


Media Contacts

Katie Priebe

Christian Knights
651-662-4058 (office)

Tracy Carlson
612-455-1717 (work)
612-232-6578 (cell)


Ebb & Flow – Minnesota’s Population Future

The Minnesota State Demographic Center issued a report last week that details how people are leaving Minnesota for other states.  

The birthrate keeps us moving forward economically with a growing population, in combination with immigrants moving here from overseas.   

Note:  A recent national report says immigrant entrepreneurs boost the economy, here in Minnesota and elsewhere.

As the baby boomers leave the workforce, the state, and eventually, the planet, Minnesota’s birth rate will not be able to keep up and maintaining growth will be a bigger challenge.

Assignment:  File a report or do a series of interviews on the Morning Blend about this new demographic information and  its ramifications.


Open Data Portal in Minneapolis

The city of Minneapolis has set up an Open Data Portal.  

Assignment:  Schedule and interview or do a produced piece that explains to our listeners what this is, and why it’s important (if it is).  What can you do with this information?  How useful is it?


The City of Minneapolis’ open data portal is now available to the public, allowing folks to access many types of City data online. Before now, if residents or reporters wanted much of this information, they had to formally request it from the City. The initial sets of data in the portal cover a range of City services and functions, and more data will be added in the coming months and years.

The data elements available with the launch of the open data portal include:

  • 311 incidents
  • Fire incidents
  • Police incidents
  • Crime statistics
  • Open rental licenses
  • Open liquor licenses
  • Air quality study results
  • Digital inclusion survey results
  • NRP budgets
  • Exact city boundaries

Minneapolis now joins 38 states and 46 cities and counties that have open data portals that have made data sets available to the public. The City of Minneapolis’ open data portal does not represent all the public information managed by the City, but it is meant to make the most frequently requested and most useful data easily accessible, and more content will be added over time.


Users can download data in various formats, visualize the data in charts and maps where available, and read metadata about the information. Users can also subscribe via RSS feed to get notified when the data is updated. Programmers can access APIs that let them use the data without needing to download anything.