Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Help End Hunger with a Trip to Your Local Grocery Store

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Through the power of partnership, The Minnesota Grocers Association (MGA) is making real progress in the fight to end hunger in Minnesota. In partnership with Second Harvest Heartland, the MGA has created a statewide campaign called “Minnesota Own,” a unique statewide partnership among grocers, industry vendors, consumers and local hunger-relief agencies to educate people about how hunger affects the state’s residents.

All food and monetary donations collected in-store will be distributed to local food banks and food shelves to benefit hungry Minnesota families. The MGA coordinates the program across the state and has more than 230 retail participants and 14 vendor partners. Last year, the “Minnesota’s Own” campaign provided 6.2 million meals to hungry families in Minnesota and has set a goal to reach 6.5 million meals this year.

“Our grocers and vendor partners share consumers’ concerns for providing food and necessities to local families in need,” said Jamie Pfuhl, President of the Minnesota Grocers Association. “The participating retailers and vendors are proud to bring ‘Minnesota’s Own’ to our communities, to help increase donations to their local food shelves, and to benefit area families during difficult economic times.”

You can support in “Minnesota’s Own” by:

  • Participating in or hosting a Food & Fund Drive—Buy items in your local grocery store and donate them to local food shelves;
  • Contributing to in-store promotion—Purchase specially marked items and vendor partners will donate an additional monetary amount to local food shelves; and
  • Finding the “Check Off Hunger” Icons—For as little as $1, $3 or $5, customers may contribute to food shelves at the register and sign a grocery list icon that will be displayed prominently in the store.

For a list of participating grocers, special vendor coupons and more information on how to get involved, visit minnesotasown.com.

We hope you’ll join us this October to help end hunger in Minnesota!

Glow In the Night for Hunger Relief

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Glow In the Night 5K is coming to Minnesota for the first time and is proudly supporting Second Harvest Heartland. Join us for a glowing night of fun, while helping bring food to the tables of your hungry neighbors in need. During the race, you will get completely covered in “glowrific” color dust with family and friends at night, under the soft glow of black lights.

At the end of the 5K run, enjoy the after party with food, music and of course, more color.

Early bird registration ends September 20, and volunteer opportunities are available. To register today or for more information, visit glowinthenight5K.com.

Race Details:
Glow In the Night 5K
Friday, October 4th
Race start time: 7:00 pm
West Park, White Bear Lake

Creating Art, Eliminating Hunger

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Photo courtesy of Tom Henry Photography

Last year, we were excited to tell you about Amber Waves, Tom Henry’s landscape art installation nestled within the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis this summer.

We’re happy to report that Tom is back at it this year with a new installation, “The Golden Curve.” Henry worked with the Metropolitan Airports Commission to plan and plant wheat and sunflowers for the project, sponsored in part by a grant from the General Mills Foundation. Nearly 400 bright yellow sunflowers and fields of golden, flowing wheat are now visible to passengers taking a light rail train near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and Mall of America.

“Sunflowers and wheat are natural together and with the wheat now baled in between the rows of sunflowers, it looks a bit like a European landscape,” Henry says. “It takes the train about 10 seconds to round the bend, so I like to think of it as 10 seconds in Tuscany.”

The visual entertainment will eventually come to a close with an end-of-season harvest planned to help feed those in need through food shelves in the Twin Cities area!

Our wide network of partners, volunteers and donors are what make the wheels of Second Harvest Heartland turn, and we couldn’t be more excited and thankful for Tom’s creative and charitable project!

Going Orange for Hunger Action Day

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Today, Second Harvest Heartland staff joined hundreds of members of our community by going Orange” for Hunger Action Day, raising awareness for the prevalence of hunger in Minnesota.

The number of Minnesotans who struggle to put enough food on the table remains at its highest level since the government started counting two decades ago. In Minnesota and western Wisconsin, one in 10 people experience the stress of hunger on any given day even though there is enough food available to feed everyone. We’re using Hunger Action Month during the month of September to raise awareness of this problem in our service area and urge people to join the fight to end hunger.

There are many ways for you to get involved this September: raising awareness, volunteering, and collecting food and financial donations; we hope you won’t choose just one. For more information on ways to fight hunger, visit 2harvest.org/ham.




Hunger Action Month: Together We Can Solve Hunger!

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

September is Hunger Action Month across the country. As a member of Feeding America‘s nationwide network of food banks, we’re asking you to support Second Harvest Heartland and those we serve by taking action to raise awareness about the problem of hunger in our service area.

With more than 600,000 people in Minnesota and western Wisconsin at risk of missing a meal on any given day, it’s more important now than ever before to help.

No action is too small when it comes to ending hunger!

Double Down Challenge will Double Your Impact
Help us hit our goal of 10,000 volunteer hours during the month of September. Every hour you volunteer for Second Harvest Heartland will be matched with a $5 donation from Bremer Bank, up to a total of $50,000! That’s enough to provide 185,000 meals to our neighbors in need! Learn how you can take action at 2harvest.org/ham.

Go Orange
September 5th is National Hunger Action Day. Show your support by wearing orange on the 5th, and all month long.
- Virtually: dedicate your Facebook and Twitter to hunger awareness for the month. Check out our Facebook page for ideas.
- Physically: Light your home or workplace orange.

Create Awareness
- Take: the SNAP challenge and live on the average daily SNAP benefit of $4.50 a day.
- Learn: the facts about Hunger in Minnesota and share it with friends.
- Display: our “30 Ways in 30 Days” calendar at work, in your home, and throughout your community.

Take Action
- Host: a Food & Fund Drive.
- Volunteer: for a three-hour shift to feed a family of four for a week, or take a look at our featured volunteer opportunities to see how you can make an even deeper impact in one of our hungry neighbor’s lives.

There are many ways for you to get involved this September; we hope you won’t choose just one. For more information on ways to fight hunger in September, visit 2harvest.org/ham.

Ready to Get Your Hands Dirty? Glean With Us!

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Looking for a fun and unique way to help our neighbors in need? Come glean with us, and enjoy a beautiful day on a working farm with this unique volunteer opportunity! Second Harvest Heartland needs your help to pick fresh, healthy produce at local farms for those at risk of hunger. Second Harvest Heartland delivers all the produce you harvest to local food shelves, soup kitchens and other agency partner programs in our region. Bring your friends and family for a fun, meaningful experience.

We welcome individuals, families or groups ages 12+. Gleaning events last approximately three hours and take place weekdays, weekends and weekday evenings from July through October. Second Harvest Heartland provides training, boxes and transportation of all of the harvested produce back to our warehouse. Volunteers need to provide their own transportation to the farms and bring lots of energy and anything for proper protection from the weather (water, sunscreen, etc.). (Note: This position requires participants to be able to stand for long periods of time. Adults should be able to carry a 40 lb. bag of apples.)

Ready to get out in the fields? These events often occur on short notice, when it’s convenient for farmers and while the produce is still fresh. We need volunteers like you who are at the ready. Sign up for our volunteer emails here, and we’ll send you alerts when the crops are ready to be picked! Or, feel free to call (651) 209-7909 with any questions.

Area Kids Get VIP Access to Vikings Training Camp

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Thanks to the Vikings Children’s Fund Summer Lunch Program, 41 kids got VIP access to the Vikings Training Camp on Wednesday, July 31. The kids, from the Watonwan County Youth Development, got on the field to view the Vikings practice, played in the Kids Zone, danced with mascot Viktor the Viking and enjoyed a nutritious lunch. But perhaps the best part of the day was when Vikings players Cullen Leoffler, Jarmarca Sanford and Matt Asiata stopped by to sign autographs.

The Vikings Children’s Fund Summer Lunch Program helps secure more meals for Minnesota children ages 1 to 18 each summer.

We’d like to offer a big thanks to the Minnesota Vikings’ leadership for all you do to support hungry kids in our community!

Preview 2013 Canstruction at the Minnesota State Fair

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

If you’re heading to the Minnesota State Fair this year, make sure to stop by The Agriculture Horticulture building to see colossal sculptures built from thousands of ordinary cans of food. The sculptures on display are from past Canstruction competitions, the annual creative and competitive event that pits together teams to design and build sculptures out of canned food to benefit local food banks.

Learn more about this year’s Canstruction event, scheduled for October 5-7 at the Mall of America, here.




Community Outreach Programs: Helping Our Neighbors in Need

Monday, August 19th, 2013

More than 600,000 people in Minnesota are hungry, and visits to food shelves have doubled in the past five years. As the demand for food assistance continues to rise, Second Harvest Heartland is working not only to collect and distribute more food to our neighbors in need, but also by investing in community outreach programs that help increase food security for the hungry.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Outreach
One in three people who qualify for SNAP (formerly called food stamps) don’t access their benefits. Our team of outreach specialists break down barriers through screening and applications assistance, helping connect more people with more food in their time of need.

Meals for Minds School Pantry Program
With funding from Target, we distribute food at schools in high-need areas across the Twin Cities each month during the school year through Meals for Minds. Families can receive groceries for each child enrolled at school.

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
During school, approximately 375,000 Minnesota children received free or reduced-price meals. But when summer arrives, only about 20 percent of these kids continue to access similar meal programs. To fill this gap, we team up with the Minnesota Department of Education to help connect kids with summer meals.

Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)
Each month, we provide a box of nutritious food to income-eligible women, children and seniors 60 years and over, through the Nutritional Assistance Program for Seniors (NAPS) and MAC (Mothers and Children).

Find more information on the programs above or how you can become involved by contacting Second Harvest Heartland here today.

Hunger Action Month: Together We Can Solve Hunger!

Monday, August 12th, 2013

This September, people across the nation will step up and join the fight against hunger in our communities as part of Hunger Action Month. As a supporter of Second Harvest Heartland, you already know that hunger is more prevalent than ever: 1 in 10 people in your neighborhood is at risk of going without a meal today. But together, we can do something about it.

There are many ways for you to get involved this September; we hope you won’t choose just one. From volunteering for the Double Down Challenge to wearing orange for hunger, you can make a big impact with some simple actions.

Double Down will Double Your Impact
Help us hit our goal of 10,000 volunteer hours during the month of September. Every hour you volunteer for Second Harvest Heartland will be matched with a $5 donation from Bremer Bank, up to a total of $50,000! That’s enough to provide 185,000 meals to our neighbors in need! Learn how you can take action at 2harvest.org/ham.

Go Orange
September 5th is the national hunger awareness day. Show your support by wearing orange on the 5th, and all month long.
Virtually: dedicate your Facebook and Twitter to hunger awareness for the month. Check out our Facebook page for ideas.
Personally: Order your $5 Hunger Action Month t-shirt and be sure to wear it on the 5th and all month long!
Physically: Light up your home or workplace orange.

Create Awareness
Take: the SNAP challenge and live on just $4.50 a day.
Learn: the facts of Hunger in Minnesota and share it with friends.
Display: our 30 ways in 30 days calendar at work, in your home, and throughout your community.

Take Action
Host: a Food & Fund Drive.
Volunteer: for a three-hour shift to feed a family of four for a week, or take a look at our featured volunteer opportunities to see how you can make an even deeper impact in one of our hungry neighbor’s lives.

Stay tuned for more ideas on how to fight hunger in September.

For more information on ways to fight hunger in September, visit 2harvest.org/ham.

The Second Annual Pack-a-Thon Provides More than 140,000 Meals to our Hungry Neighbors

Monday, July 29th, 2013

On Saturday, July 20, more than 250 individuals joined us at our second annual Pack-a-Thon! By the time the last shift ended, 74,043 pounds of food was packed and nearly $22,000 was raised—allowing us to provide more than 140,000 meals!

It was inspiring to see the community come together not only for the food, prizes and celebrity guests, but also to reach out and help those in need in our community. Thank you to all who participated or made a financial contribution! We’d also like to thank our sponsor, UnitedHealthcare, and in-kind partners, Tiki Tim’s, Old Dutch, 7UP Bottling Company, and Best Maid Cookie Company!

Check out the photo gallery below!

The need for volunteers and donations is year-round at Second Harvest Heartland. Please visit our website or follow us on Twitter and Facebook to hear about opportunities to continue to help or join us at our next event.

More Than 175,000 Meals Provided by 2013 Food Mania Competitors

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

In just two weeks, 10 local companies came together in the Ultimate Food Fight to End Hunger during the 2013 Food Mania competition, which ran June 17-28. During the contest, participants raised nearly $45,000, collected more than 16,000 pounds of food, and donated more than 650 volunteer hours. Collectively, that is enough to provide more than 175,000 meals to our neighbors in need!

Thank you to our participants: Wilkerson CPA; KDV CPA; Blanski Peter Kronlage & Zoch, P.A.; Merchant & Gould P.C.; Asian Foods; Kemps; City & County Credit Union. And special thanks to our challengers: Eide Bailly; Arthur Chapman Kettering Smetak & Pikala; and Schwan’s Consumer Brands.

2013 Food Mania Award Winners:

Sector Overall First Place Winners: (Awarded for accruing the most points overall in each sector)
• Accounting: Eide Bailly
• Food: Schwan’s Consumer Brands
• Law: Arthur Chapman Kettering Smetak & Pikala
• Kitchen Sink: City & County Credit Union

Sector Per Capita First Place Winners: (Awarded for collecting the most points per capita in each sector)
• Kitchen Sink: City & County Credit Union
• Law: Arthur Chapman Kettering Smetak & Pikala
• Food: Schwan’s Consumer Brands
• Accounting: Eide Bailly

100% Awards: (Awarded for the greatest percentage of participation by employees among all sectors)
• Arthur Chapman Kettering Smetak & Pikala
• City & County Credit Union

Rookie Award: (Awarded to the top first-time participating organization among all sectors)
• Kemps

Since Food Mania began in 2008, competitors have raised nearly $250,000 and collected nearly 60,000 pounds of food to provide more than 1 million meals!

Thank you to all participating Food Mania companies, past and present. Your enthusiastic support helps ensure all Minnesotans have access to the food they need to thrive!

There’s Still Time to Register for the Second Annual Pack-a-Thon on July 20!

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Join us at the second annual Pack-a-Thon on Saturday, July 20, at Second Harvest Heartland West in Golden Valley! Gather friends, family and co-workers for a lively day of packing food for our neighbors in need while enjoying non-stop music from a live DJ, free food , prizes and a family-friendly post-packing party.

Our goal this year is to provide more than 200,000 meals for those in our community who are hungry, and you can help!

Joining is simple:
1. Register online here
2. Easily create a personal fundraising page to collect pledges to help us meet our 200,000+ meal goals. Set a personal fundraising goal of $100.
3. Prepare for a unique packing experience alongside your fellow supports

Regular registration is $25. Kids ages 8+ can attend, but must be accompanied by an adult.

Between your registration, collecting $100 in pledges, and food packed during your two-hour shift, you personally will help us provide nearly 700 meals!

Already Registered: Get ready for a fun and unique packing experience!

  • After you’re done packing, don’t forget to celebrate your success and join us for the party!
  • FREE food from local food trucks, Tiki Tim’s and Neato Burgers. When your shift is over, you’ll receive a coupon for a free item from one of the food trucks.
  • Packing “Pit Stop,” with free massages and do-it-yourself foot massages.
  • Caricature artist.
  • Inflatable obstacle course and games.
  • Appearances from local favorite costumed characters , including Snoopy from Valleyfair and Nordy, the Minnesota Wild’s mascot.

Need a little extra motivation for reaching your $100 fundraising goal? Take a look at some of the prizes you will be entered into a drawing to win:

  • Minnesota Vikings vs. Cleveland Browns tickets
  • Minnesota Wild tickets
  • Four Valleyfair passes and a gift basket
  • Lunch for 12 at Axel’s Restaurants

Hope to see you there!

Food Mania: Eide Bailly Joins the Ultimate Food Fight to End Hunger

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Food Mania, one of Second Harvest Heartland’s premier Food & Fund Drives, began in 2008 when local accounting firm Eide Bailly approached us with an idea: create a friendly competition among local accounting and law firms to raise food and funds for Second Harvest Heartland. From this initial idea, Food Mania was born, and has grown to include employees from food companies and credit unions. Since Food Mania began, competitors have raised nearly $200,000 and collected more than 42,000 pounds of food to provide nearly 800,000 meals!

“It’s fun, with entertaining and engaging activities happening during the entire Food Mania program,” said Deb Nelson, non-profit tax manager, Eide Bailly. “But perhaps more importantly, staff and partners recognize the good work—the necessary work—being done by Second Harvest Heartland to help feed Minnesotan’s hungry neighbors.”

In the video below, Allison Gregory, senior tax associate with Eide Bailly, talks about Food Mania and why hunger relief is so important to their firm.

Thank you to all participating Food Mania companies, past and present. Your enthusiastic support helps ensure all Minnesotans have access to the food they need to thrive!

2013 Food Mania Competitors:

Accounting:
Eide Bailly, LLP
KDV CPA
Wilkerson CPA
Blanski Peter Kronlage & Zoch, P.A.

Law:
Arthur Chapman
Merchant & Gould P.C.

Food Companies:
Schwan’s Consumer Brands
Asian Foods
Kemps

Kitchen Sink:
City & County Credit Union

Help Provide Fresh Food for our Neighbors in Need This Summer

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Join us this summer as we partner with the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market to collect fresh, local produce to distribute to our agency partners like food shelves, soup kitchens and senior centers! Every Sunday from July 7 to October 27, 2013, you can help by volunteering or buying and donating an extra bag of produce at the market.

To volunteer, sign up for a volunteer shift here. Volunteers promote the program to shoppers and support our vendor partners.

To donate food, fill and purchase an extra bag of food from a market vendor and let them know it’s for Second Harvest Heartland. We’ll work with the vendors to get the food collected and sent out into the community through our network of food shelves and other community programs.

Whether you volunteer with us or donate an extra bag of food, you’ll make a huge impact on the lives of so many children, working parents and seniors who are in need of a little extra help putting food on the table.

For more information, visit 2harvest.org/getfresh.

Watch This Year’s Dish Video, and Help Bring Hope to Hungry Children

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Second Harvest Heartland works on a number of fronts to address child hunger, through food distribution to 1,000 agency partners and support of various community programs that provide food to children in local neighborhoods.

With the funds raised at Second Harvest Heartland’s 2013 Dish event, we’ll continue to help make sure kids and their families have access to food during tough times. Take a moment to watch this year’s Dish video, created by Broad Daylight, and learn how we—and others—are working to make sure hungry children have enough to eat so they can develop to their fullest potential and have fun just being kids. You can also take a look at photos from this year’s event here.

Sincere thanks to all of our friends who supported the work of Second Harvest Heartland at Dish, presented by Cub Foods. The event attracted over 1,000 people and raised more than $680,000. Thanks to the generous support of our community, we’ll be able to provide over 2.5 million meals to our neighbors in need. Save the date for next year’s Dish event: Thursday, May 29, 2014 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre.

Visit 2harvest.org/donate to help bring hope to hungry children all year round.

Thanks for Making Dish: Cuisine for Change a Success!

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Sincere thanks to all of our friends who supported the work of Second Harvest Heartland at Thursday’s Dish: Cuisine for Change, presented by Cub Foods. The event attracted over 1,000 people and raised more than $680,000. Thanks to the generous support of our community, we’ll be able to provide over 2.5 million meals to our neighbors in need. We are humbled and grateful to our sponsors, restaurants, auction donors, individual attendees, volunteers and other supporters for the incredible generosity displayed that evening. Thank you!

Whether you were able to attend or not, we invite you to download a recipe booklet from this year’s participating restaurants—The Strip Club Meat & Fish, Zelo, Barbette and more.

Take a look at photos from this year’s event below.

Save the date for next year’s Dish event: Thursday, May 29, 2014 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre

Stamp Out Hunger – Totals Are (Almost) In!

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

On Saturday, May 11, Second Harvest Heartland participated in the 21st Annual National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Each year, hundreds of thousands of pounds of food are collected across the metro area for Second Harvest Heartland and our partner agencies. We are thrilled to announce that this year over 694,000 pounds of food was collected – this isn’t quite the final total and we anticipate collecting over 700,000 pounds once everything is reported.

New to the event this year, TCF Bank stepped up and became a matching sponsor to add a financial element to the drive. For donations made online from May 1-14, TCF Bank matched $1:$1 up to a total of $25,000. Not only did financial donors rise to the occasion and meet the match, they knocked it out of the park!! Nearly $46,000 was raised and there are still some donations trickling in!

Between pounds collected and dollars raised, we will be able to provide over 955,000 meals (and counting!)

A special thanks to our partners and sponsors this year goes out to: Cub Foods, TCF Bank, WCCO Radio, National Association of Letter Carriers Minneapolis Branch 9 and Saint Paul Branch 28, USPS, KARE11, and the Minnesota Transport Services Association.

Join Us at the Second Annual Pack-a-Thon on July 20, 2013!

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Gather friends, family and co-workers for a lively day of packing food for those in need right in our community, while enjoying non-stop music, food, prizes and a family-friendly post-packing party!

Joining is simple:
1. Register online here
2. Collect pledges to help us provide over 200,000 meals
3. Prepare for a unique packing experience alongside your fellow supports

Register before May 28 using the code EARLYBIRD and receive $10 off!

Regular registration is $25. Early bird rate is available May 14-28. All registration fees are 100 percent tax-deductible and get you started on your fundraising efforts. Kids ages 8+ can attend, but must be accompanied by an adult.

Watch the video below to hear last year’s top fundraiser, Chris Gottshall, talk about his experience and why you should join him this year!

Help Stamp Out Hunger This Saturday, May 11

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Join us this Saturday, May 11, for Stamp Out Hunger!

Stamp Out Hunger is the nation’s largest single-day food drive, collecting more than 70 million pounds of food for food banks and food shelves across the United States. Locally, Second Harvest Heartland is the proud partner of Stamp Out Hunger with the National Association of Letter Carriers Minneapolis Branch 9 & Saint Paul Branch 28. This year, our goal is to collect 1.3 million pounds of food, enough for us to distribute 1 million meals to our agency partners in Central Minnesota and Western Wisconsin!

Get Involved!

1. Look for a blue bag in your mailbox or grab one during your next grocery run at Cub. Fill it with non-perishable, non-breakable food items and set it by your mailbox on Saturday, May 11. Your letter carrier will do the rest!

2. Stop by one of the participating Cub Foods locations on the day of the drive and drop your food off with our volunteers.

3. Donate online from May 1-14, 2013 & TCF Bank® will match $1:$1 up to a total of $25,000!

For more information, visit here.