Community food distribution

Community food distributions give food away for free.


Community food distributions are:

  • Events giving away food to those in need.
  • Also called pop-up food distributions.

They are not marketing events. Nothing is for sale.


Before you begin 

Find out if you need this permit.

You need this permit if you are:

  • Only sponsoring temporary pop-up food distributions
  • A Minneapolis licensed food shelf also participating in pop-up food distributions

You do not need this permit if you are a food shelf operating in a permanent location. You need a food shelf license instead.

See Food Shelf Application


You must:

Food safety

You are responsible for food safety.

See City and State food safety resources:


Community food distributions in Minneapolis must have a permit. 

See Community Food Distribution Permit Application


The permit fee is $1.

See a list of license fees

Submit your application  

Submit your application to Health Department Environmental Health Division

If you have questions, contact:

Food plan review

You must submit plans to: 

  • Open a new food or alcohol business, including:
    • Food carts
    • Food kiosks
    • Food trucks 
  • Remodel or expand an existing food or alcohol business 
  • Replace food equipment that needs any of these permits for installation:
    • Gas
    • Mechanical
    • Plumbing  
  • Add ventless cooking equipment or ventless hoods  

The City must approve your plans before you start any work.   

See Food plan review

Green To Go

Minneapolis has rules about containers for prepared food

Food and beverages prepared to be:

  • Eaten immediately off-site or
  • Taken to-go

Must be in containers that are:  

  • Reusable 
  • Recyclable or
  • Compostable

Read more about required containers

Read City code rules

More information


Report a complaint about a food or restaurant business


Your food handling methods determine how often the City will inspect your business.


The information on this page should serve as a guideline only.

Request accessible format

If you need help with this information, please email 311, or call 311 or 612-673-3000.

Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Contact us

Business Licenses & Consumer Services

Community Planning & Economic Development






Public Service Building 
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 220
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Environmental Health

Minneapolis Health Department




Public Service Center
505 Fourth Ave S, Room 520
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Food Plan Review Team

Mohamed Yusuf

Jim Donovan

Janna Beard


Mohamed Yusuf

Jim Donovan

Janna Beard



Public Service Building

505 Fourth Ave. S. 

Minneapolis, MN 55415


Minneapolis 311


Office hours

7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Monday – Friday