In Need of Food Assistance This Thanksgiving?

November 19th, 2014

If you, or someone you know, are in need of food this holiday season, there are several local emergency food services and assistance programs that can help.

To contact someone for information about available resources, fill out the short form on this page or call our front desk at 651.484.5117 for immediate assistance.

We understand the holiday season puts extra strain on your budget—but you shouldn’t have to go without food. Contact us today for help.

On behalf of all of us at Second Harvest Heartland, Happy Thanksgiving.

Give a Gift that Gives Back This Holiday Season

November 17th, 2014

Looking for the perfect gift for family, friends or colleagues? Make a gift in your friend’s honor to Second Harvest Heartland, and make a difference in the lives of those who need it most this holiday season.

Just $25 provides enough food for 92 meals!

  • Simply visit 2harvest.org/holidaygift to make a gift in your friend’s name.
  • Choose from our selection of e-cards and create a personal message.
  • Click submit to send your personalized e-card notifying your friend of your gift.

Hurry! Give your gift today at 2harvest.org/holidaygift.

Your donation is tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. We will send a receipt for your records.

Feed4More this Holiday Season with Whole Foods Market

November 15th, 2014

This holiday season, thousands of Minnesota families will rely on their local food shelf for a simple holiday meal. With help from one of our new partners, Whole Foods Market, we can help make the holidays brighter for local families in need through the Feed4More campaign. But we need your help!

From now until November 30, all Twin Cities Whole Foods Market locations will join with stores across the country to raise money to help fill the cupboards of local families. Customers can choose to make a monetary donation at the register, or add a donation to their online order at shop.wfm.com. All of the proceeds from local Whole Foods Markets will benefit Second Harvest Heartland and agency partners.

For more information, visit www.wholefoodsmarket.com/store/event/feed4more.

Thank You for Giving to the Max

November 14th, 2014

On behalf of Second Harvest Heartland, our community partners and the children, working families and seniors we serve, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your incredible generosity on Give the Max Day this year.


Thanks to The Mosaic Company Foundation, a special group of individual donors and the humbling online gifts from generous individuals like you, we’ll be able to provide the equivalent of 2.1 million meals to those in our community who are counting on us for support!

This year, we received:

- $345,484 in individual contributions;
- $238,000 in matching funds from The Mosaic Company Foundation and individual donors;
- $5,000 for the third place prize award;

All of that amounts to $588,484—enough to help us provide food for 2.1 million meals.

Please take a moment to watch my personal video thank you message below.

Thank you for your generosity. Know that this holiday season, our neighbors will sit down for a plentiful meal and give thanks for you.

Rob Zeaske
CEO, Second Harvest Heartland

Give to the Max TODAY!

November 13th, 2014

Imagine if you could help raise enough money to provide 2.2 million meals to hungry Minnesota children in just one day. You can—today!

Make Second Harvest Heartland the charity of your choice for today’s Give to the Max Day, and help provide food—like apples and bananas—to local kids and their families in our community who need them most.

Every donation to Second Harvest Heartland works twice as hard, thanks to a $100,000 match from The Mosaic Company Foundation, plus other matching funds from individual donors.

And when you give $100 or more, we’ll send you a hand-colored “thank you” postcard, from the hands of a child who benefits from one of our programs.

Give today here!

Tough Decisions for our Hungry Neighbors

November 12th, 2014

When people don’t have access to enough food, impossible trade-offs often follow. In order to put food on the table, high-need families frequently sacrifice other basic needs in order to make ends meet.

Many Second Harvest Heartland clients make tough decisions every day—decisions between food or transportation, food or housing, food or medical care. They choose coping skills to manage their hunger—choosing inexpensive, unhealthy foods to feel full; watering down food or drinks to make them last longer; pawning or selling property for food money or asking family and friends for help.

Our infographic below represents the tough decisions our hungry neighbors had to make at least once in the last year, with information from the Hunger in American 2014 study.

For ways to help those in need this holiday season, visit 2harvest.org/holidaygift.

Help Provide Apples and Bananas this Give to the Max Day!

November 7th, 2014

Apples, bananas and other fresh fruit are essential to children’s health, growth and development. So essential, that we enlisted a group of local kindergartners and musician Jeremy Messersmith to sing about how much they like to eat, eat, eat…apples and bananas.

In order to help get these nutritious foods to the one in six Minnesota children who live at risk of hunger, we need your help.

Make Second Harvest Heartland the charity of your choice on Give to the Max Day this November 13, or schedule your gift today, and help provide food to local kids and their families in our community who need them most.

Your donations work twice as hard, thanks to a $100,000 match from The Mosaic Company Foundation, plus other matching funds from individual donors.

Hunger in America 2014: Gaining a Deeper Understanding of Who We Serve

November 4th, 2014

Second Harvest Heartland was one of nearly 200 Feeding America member food banks that participated in the 2014 Hunger in America study, released this August. With more than 60,000 clients and 32,000 food shelves and other agency partners across the country surveyed, this is the most comprehensive and largest study of its kind.

The study provides current demographic data of the people who receive emergency food assistance and the economic and personal circumstances of their households on a national, state and county level. This helps us to better understand who we serve and why they use our services.

Results for our service area align with what we are seeing and hearing from our agency partners. Though the economy is improving overall, persistent unemployment and underemployment continue to impact many.

Although many individuals are either continuing with higher education or seeking work, they are still experiencing challenges with food security, limited income, unpaid medical bills and health challenges. This often forces them to make decisions between feeding themselves and their families and/or paying for other critical things like utilities, medical care, rent or education.

The local Hunger in America study results will help Second Harvest Heartland to better partner with agencies in our service area and better meet the needs of the clients we serve.

To read more, visit 2harvest.org/hungerstudy.

Volunteers Make an Impact: Here’s How

November 3rd, 2014

In 2013, volunteers helped make a bigger impact than ever before. We’ve shared the overall impact before, but did you know that volunteers contribute to nearly every program and department at Second Harvest Heartland?

From sorting, packing and labeling food to delivering food directly to those in need or supporting special events and beyond, we have a volunteer opportunity for everyone. Learn more about the impact our volunteers made across the organization below.

ImpactInfographic

Visit 2harvest.org/volunteer to sign up for your own volunteer opportunity and join us in providing our neighbors with the hope and stability they need during difficult times.

Give Back Before Giving Thanks: Walk to End Hunger 2014

October 29th, 2014

This holiday season, thousands of Minnesota families will rely on their local food shelf for a simple holiday meal. You can help those in need by joining Second Harvest Heartland for this year’s family-friendly 5k Walk to End Hunger, presented by The Mosaic Company, at the Mall of America on Thanksgiving morning.

Join Team Second Harvest Heartland, start your own team, or walk as an individual. And have fun while you’re at it—the walk route will have music, balloon animals, Santa and kids crafts.

Sign up today at www.walktoendhunger.org/goto/SHH.

Since its inception in 2008, the Walk to End Hunger has raised more than $1.5 million to support local hunger relief organizations. One hundred percent of all proceeds raised are distributed to hunger relief organizations, including Second Harvest Heartland.

However you choose to participate, you will help provide more food to those who are hungry in our community this holiday season!

For more information, visit the Walk to End Hunger website or call 651.789.9842. Hope to see you there!

Volunteer Spotlight of the Month: Dennie Scott and Jane Hilger

October 27th, 2014

Dennie Scott and Jane Hilger have been helping fight hunger for more than 10 years. Dennie started her journey at Second Harvest Heartland when she became a part of the Volunteer Services team. Since her retirement in 2010, she has continued to volunteer her time with Second Harvest Heartland, both as a 2014 Hunger Study volunteer and as a Hunger 101 facilitator.

Similar to Dennie, Jane has volunteered as a Hunger 101 facilitator and at different events, including our annual gala, Dish: Cuisine for Change.

Facilitating the Hunger 101 simulation brought Dennie and Jane together because of their mutual passion for volunteering and educating others about what can be done to help fight hunger in Minnesota. The Hunger 101 simulation does just that – by role play simulation in which participants are asked to take on the life circumstance of someone in Minnesota who’s as risk of hunger.

During the simulation, each participate must try to get enough food to feed his or her family for one day by tapping the resources of the grocery store, food shelf, county human services office and the bank. The experience gives participants a feel for the struggles someone can confront when trying to feed a family with limited time, resources and support. The simulation provides the starting point for a comprehensive discussion about hunger and supports a call to action.

“Its eye opening, at the end of the simulation you get to hear the participants’ thoughts, what they learned, and their experience during the simulation. I always learn new information, and hearing what others have to say brings further awareness about hunger,” said Dennie.

Jane, a retired teacher, led the simulation for her students, saying “it was important to me that my students participated in the simulation. I had the simulation right in my classroom and my students seemed to really enjoy it.”

Dennie and Jane both thoroughly enjoy facilitating the simulation and continue to volunteer with Second Harvest Heartland, always looking for new ways to become involved.

You can volunteer, too! For ways to get involved, visit 2harvest.org/volunteer.

Cub Cares Promotion Extended through November 1

October 23rd, 2014

There’s one more week to get Halloween supplies AND support Second Harvest Heartland at the same time!

Cub Foods is extending the “round up” portion of the Cub Foods / Gopher Athletics Cub Cares campaign to support Second Harvest Heartland and area food banks until November 1. Cub customers will be asked to round up their purchases at the checkouts as a donation to fight hunger.

Thanks to Cub Foods and Gopher Athletics—we are all in this together!

Food as Medicine: The Intersection of Hunger and Health

October 21st, 2014

When Darla was diagnosed with heart disease and type 2 diabetes two years ago, she knew she needed to improve her health through diet. But with Darla’s limited income, she couldn’t afford the fruits and vegetables she knew she needed. So when she discovered a weekly produce distribution site in her South Minneapolis neighborhood, she was hopeful.

“With the boxes of fresh produce I get from the foodshelf, I’m able to manage my heart condition and keep my diabetes under the control. I just can’t afford healthy food and pay for my medications at the same time.”

Why Food Access and Nutrition Matter
Darla’s situation is similar to many who struggle with food insecurity. Research has found that proper nutrition and access to food play an important role in prevention, treatment and recovery for many health conditions, which can be challenging for high-need patients. A 2010 study by the Food Industry Center at the University of Minnesota, reported that the effects of hunger annually cost the Minnesota economy at least $1.26 billion in medical and health care costs.

In spite of the connection between food access, nutrition and health, the health care system and hunger relief systems have historically functioned largely apart from each other. Non-profits in hunger relief do not reach nearly all people who need food, and health care providers serve many food insecure patients who could be connected to food support, which could play an important role in their health outcomes.

The Opportunity: Better Health, Less Hunger
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has analyzed the potential for greater integration between health care and hunger relief and indicates that if the medical and hunger relief sectors partner to increase access to healthy foods, Minnesota’s 100 million missing meal gap could potentially be reduced by 25 percent or more.

“Hospitals are seeing large numbers of food insecure patients, but most are not participating in any food relief programs. If we can get those providers engaged and asking the right questions, there’s an opportunity to provide wider-reaching food relief services that can be convenient and comfortable for clients,” said Rob Zeaske, CEO, Second Harvest Heartland.

Projects and Pilots at the Intersection
How can hunger relief and health care work in tandem? In Minnesota and around the country, a few initiatives and pilots are already in place—from clinics developing food insecurity screening tools that lead to patient referrals to food shelves or a SNAP application process, to food banks identifying clients with type 2 diabetes and providing appropriate food, nutrition and health education.

Locally, the Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) provides an onsite food shelf in the form of a Therapeutic Food Pharmacy to high-need patients, with some food provided by Second Harvest Heartland. Diana Cutts, MD, Department of Pediatrics, HCMC and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota, helped launch the foodshelf in 2010.

“One third of families that I see are food insecure,” said Dr. Cutts. “Do I always think about hunger when I’m seeing a kid for repeated ear infections? Logically, I know infections and food insecurity are related, but I don’t always think about it. So having an onsite resource available like the food pharmacy is valuable.”

Join us at Taste of the Vikings and Help Provide up to 525 Meals to Underserved Minnesota Children

October 17th, 2014

Help us kick childhood hunger at the annual Taste of the Vikings on Tuesday, November 4, 2014!

The fundraising food and wine event will feature appearances by current Vikings players, coaches and alumni. Sample specially prepared dishes from more than 20 of the area’s top restaurants, and enjoy complimentary premium wines from E&J Gallo, Miller and Pepsi products and one-of-a-kind silent auction items.

The price of one general admission ticket can help provide up to 525 meals to underserved children in Minnesota!

Buy your tickets today at vikings.com/tasteofthevikings.

Cause and Effects: Commodity Supplemental Food Program

October 15th, 2014

Seniors are one of the fastest-growing populations that Second Harvest Heartland serves: visits by seniors to Second Harvest Heartland’s food shelf partners have increased more than 60 percent since 2008. Many seniors are on fixed incomes and are faced with making tough decisions between food and other necessities.

The USDA’s Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), administered by Second Harvest Heartland
in the food bank’s service area, provides a monthly box of wholesome food to more than 9,000 seniors in
Minnesota. This year, we opened 15 NEW DISTRIBUTION SITES, and continue working to better serve
underrepresented areas in the metro area and parts of greater Minnesota.

Voices of Hunger Relief

October 13th, 2014

Joining the Second Harvest Heartland team in January 2014, Greta Gauthier brings a breadth of knowledge and passion to the Director of Advocacy role.

“My family has supported Second Harvest Heartland for years,” said Greta. “It feels good to put my education and experience to use working with Congress and the State Legislature, while helping solve the issues I feel passionate about.”

With the recognition that we can’t do our work alone, Greta’s role is to strategically increase the visibility of Second Harvest Heartland and the issue of hunger in public policy arenas like state agencies, the Governor’s office and the Legislature—and to enlist public sector support.

“Bringing people together in the Legislature to help them recognize hunger in their own districts and in the state helps them understand that, with commitment and organization, hunger is truly a solvable problem,” said Greta.

Within her first five months, Greta supported the enactment of the Farm to Foodshelf Bill—a $2 million appropriation from the Minnesota Legislature—to help move fresh produce that would otherwise go unharvested or be discarded into the emergency food system. The six Feeding America foods banks serving Minnesota already had been capturing such produce through the Share Fresh MN program, which was a pilot program.

The new Farm to Foodshelf grant provides funds to help agricultural producers and processors in Minnesota offset the costs to harvest and package donated fruits and vegetables.

“With the Farm to Foodshelf grant in place, Second Harvest Heartland and our partners will be able to move millions of pounds of food to food shelves and meal programs across the state,” said Greta. “Being a part of making that happen has been really wonderful.”

Moving forward, Greta’s work will also be focused on encouraging added cross-sector partnerships and driving innovations to connect more children to summer feeding programs and more individuals to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

“My goal is to get more fresh food to our hungry neighbors in need,” said Greta.

What’s the Most Important Gift You Can Give This Holiday Season? The Gift of a Meal.

October 6th, 2014

If you’re like most families in the heartland, you’ll sit down this holiday season and enjoy a festive feast surrounded by loved ones. But thousands of Minnesota families will rely on their local food shelf for a simple holiday meal. With your help, we can make the holidays a little brighter for families in need.

Please consider hosting a Food & Fund Drive this holiday season—an easy and low-cost way you can help us keep our neighbors hunger-free during this stressful time.

Anyone can host a Food & Fund Drive, and each drive can be custom-built to fit your abilities. With our virtual Food & Fund Drives, it’s never been easier to make a huge impact on the communities we serve in just a few clicks!

For more information or to register your Food & Fund Drive, visit 2harvest.org/drive.

Hunger Action Month Challenges Accepted—Thank You!

October 1st, 2014

Thank you to all who volunteered, donated food, made a financial contribution or accepted our Go Orange challenge during Hunger Action Month!

Going Orange
We asked members of our community to Go Orange on September 4 for Hunger Action Day, and we were blown away by the response and dedication of local businesses and individuals who helped raise awareness of hunger in our communities.

How’d they do it? Here are just a few ways:

  • The Cities of Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Golden Valley, Maplewood and Vadnais Heights all officially proclaimed September as Hunger Action Month;
  • The Minneapolis 35W and Lowry Avenue bridges were lit orange;
  • Summit Brewery hosted a Happy Hour for Hunger Relief, where they collected food and financial donations at their beer hall;
  • Galactic Pizza donated $1 to Second Harvest Heartland every time a customer ordered the namesake pizza, “The Second Harvest Heartland”;
  • And countless individuals also went orange by lighting their homes or businesses orange, dedicating their Facebook or Twitter pages orange, and wearing orange.

Double Down Challenge was Met!
Every volunteer hour completed for Second Harvest Heartland during the month of September was matched with a $5 donation by our generous Double Down Challenge sponsor, Bremer Bank! And thanks to those who donated more than 10,000 hours of their time, the challenge was met and a matching donation of $50,000 was made, providing an additional 185,000 meals.

But We Still Need You!
Hunger Action Month may be over, but we still need your help! Visit 2harvest.org to find ways you can fight hunger all year long.

Fun Ways to Fight Hunger This Fall

September 30th, 2014

Every dollar, every food item and every donated hour matters. Join us this fall in one of our many campaigns, events, volunteer opportunities or fundraisers, and truly make a difference in the lives of our hungry neighbors.

Below are just some of the ways you can help fight hunger this fall.

Cub Cares
Cub Foods and Gopher Athletics have teamed up to launch Cub Cares, a hunger awareness program generating community support for Second Harvest Heartland and area food banks. From Sunday, October 12 to Saturday, October 25, customers will be asked to round up their purchase at the checkout register as a donation to help fight hunger in their community. Look for the Round Up sign featuring Goldy Gopher and Round Up during Cub Cares!

For more information, visit cub.com.

City Pages Iron Fork
Thursday, November 6 | 7-10pm International Market Square
Cuisine, cocktails and competition! Feast on an eclectic variety of cuisine from over 25 local restaurants. Cheer on six chefs battling to create the most appetizing dish with a secret ingredient revealed that night. Watch top local bartenders vie for the title of “Absolut Mixologist.” Tickets include food, beer, wine, bubbly and liquor sampling, and proceeds benefit Second Harvest Heartland.

Purchase general admission or VIP tickets at citypages.com/ironfork.

Walk to End Hunger
Thursday, November 27, 2014 | 7am-10am Mall of America
Give back before giving thanks this Thanksgiving! Take part in the Walk to End Hunger, a fun 5k walk for the whole family. Two rides at Nickelodeon Universe will be open for walkers and the route will have music, balloon animals, Santa and craft areas for kids. Sign up to walk with Team Second Harvest Heartland, start your own walk team or give a donation of thanks.

For more details, visit 2harvest.org/walk.

Virtual Food & Fund Drives
Ongoing | Online
Start an online Food & Fund Drive, and make a huge impact on the communities we serve in just a few clicks! Anyone can host a Food & Fund Drive, and each drive can be custom-built to fit your abilities.

Start your Food & Fund Drive today at 2harvest.org/drive.

For a full list of upcoming events, visit 2harvest.org/events.

Help Fight Senior Hunger in October

September 29th, 2014

Seniors are one of the fastest-growing populations that Second Harvest Heartland serves: visits by seniors to Second Harvest Heartland’s food shelf partners have increased more than 60 percent since 2008. Many seniors are on fixed incomes and are faced with making tough decisions between food and other necessities.

That’s why we’ve teamed up with UnitedHealthcare and WCCO-TV again this year to help our neighbors who are seniors realize that there are programs available that can help them get the food they need.

Now through October 19th, you’ll see Public Service Announcements and other promotions on WCCO-TV that will encourage seniors and their caregivers to connect with resources like food shelf locations and information, congregant dining and transportation options and more. New this year is an opportunity for everyone to support seniors experiencing hunger. For donations made now through October 31, UnitedHealthcare will match them $1-for-$1 up to $40,000.

Hunger is a fact of life for many Minnesota seniors, and thousands do not know where they’ll find their next meal. We’re fortunate to have great partners in UnitedHealthcare and WCCO-TV to help raise awareness about the issue of senior hunger, and connect those in need with the programs and resources that can help.

Visit 2harvest.org/seniorhelp to learn more about senior hunger, find local resources or make your donation.