Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Save the Date: Let’s Kick Hunger Day Radiothon

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

WCCO Radio and Taste of the NFL present the fifth annual Let’s Kick Hunger Day Radiothon—a day-long event sponsored by Land O’ Lakes, General Mills and AgStar Financial Services to benefit Second Harvest Heartland—taking place Thursday, January 30.

A record 1 in 10 Minnesotans—and 1 in 6 Minnesota kids—are at risk of going without a meal on any given day. Let’s Kick Hunger Day will raise crucial funds to provide more meals to those children, working families and seniors right here in our community through Second Harvest Heartland.

100% of your contribution will stay local and will help provide meals to children, working families and seniors.

You can make an impact today: it only takes 26 cents to provide an entire meal for someone in need in your area.

Call in to WCCO on Thursday, January 30 and become a Hunger Hero by signing up to be an ongoing Monthly Giver of $10 or more per month or a one-time gift of $120 or more. Your gift provides a meal-a-day for the entire year for one child, working parent or senior in need.

Make an online donation here or visit our website for more information.

This Year, Pledge to Do More, Give More, Be More

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

New Years is a time to reflect on the past, but also an opportunity to look to the future and make goals. This year, what do you want to accomplish? How do you plan to give back to your community? How will you help others?

Make 2014 the year you pledge to Do More, Give More and Be More by volunteering with Second Harvest Heartland. In just one two-hour volunteer shift, you can help provide 175 meals to our hungry neighbors.

And your help is needed now more than ever, as January and February are some of our most difficult months in which to fill volunteer shifts. We’re anticipating a 20 percent drop in volunteer participation in January, which means packing and distributing less food that our neighbors so greatly need.

This New Year, we hope you’ll resolve to fight hunger with Second Harvest Heartland as a volunteer. Volunteers sort, pack and label the food that goes directly to families in need. Your help can prevent our neighbors from having to make difficult decisions in 2014—decisions like whether to pay rent or put food on the table. Difficult decisions that no one should ever have to make.

Do More, Give More and Be More by volunteering with Second Harvest Heartland today. For a full list of volunteer opportunities, visit here.

Watch the video below to learn more about the need for volunteers!

Give Back Before Giving Thanks: Walk to End Hunger 2013

Monday, November 25th, 2013

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

The Walk to End Hunger, a family-friendly 5K fun walk, presented by the Twin Cities Hunger Initiative, is a collaboration of hunger relief agencies to raise awareness and funds to end hunger in the Twin Cities and gather thousands of nonperishable food items for local hunger relief organizations, including Second Harvest Heartland.

Why walk:

  • Kids participate for free!
  • NEW this year, break a sweat on the second level of the mall with power walking and other fitness activities.
  • Santa will be there posing for photos.
  • Some rides at the mall will be open for free along with other fun activities for the family.

There are many ways to participate in the walk: join team Second Harvest Heartland, start your own team, make a donation or volunteer. Visit to join us today!

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!

Thank you for Giving to the Max!

Monday, November 18th, 2013

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

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 over 2 million meals to those in our community who are counting on us for support.

  • Individual contributions: $379,607
  • Matching funds from The Mosaic Company Foundation and individual donors: $190,000
  • 5th place prize: $1,000

Total: $570,607 – enough to help us provide food for over 2 million meals.

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

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

Double Your Dollar on Give to the Max Day!

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Give to the Max Day is November 14. We’re ready. Are you?

Join thousands of Minnesotans on Give to the Max Day and donate online in support of your favorite charities.

When you make Second Harvest Heartland your charity of choice, you can double your impact thanks to $170,000 in matching funds generously provided by The Mosaic Company Foundation and a group of individual donors.

And when you give $100 or more, we’ll send you a hand-colored “thank you” postcard. Your gift of $100 will provide a meal-a-day for a year to a child, working parent or senior in our community who is struggling with hunger.

Please make Second Harvest Heartland your charity of choice this Give to the Max Day. Sign up for a reminder email, to be delivered to your inbox on November 14, here.

Help Kick Childhood Hunger with the Minnesota Vikings

Monday, October 28th, 2013

During the holiday season when we do our best to think about others and give back, the players and coaches of the Minnesota Vikings are leading by example by hosting this year’s Taste of the Vikings event at Mall of America on November 11 at 7pm.

The Taste of the Vikings, one of our premier events, combines food and football to raise funds for hunger relief in Minnesota. Attendees sample food and wine from some of the Twin Cities best restaurants and take pictures with and get autographs from the Minnesota Vikings roster. All proceeds from the Taste of the Vikings event benefit the Second Harvest Heartland Summer Food Service Program supported by the Vikings Children’s Fund. Last year, the event raised more than $130,000! That’s enough to provide 481,000 meals to low-income kids in need of food!

Thanks to the Minnesota Vikings, Taste of the NFL founder Wayne Kostroski, presenting sponsor Radisson and local chefs who will give their time to help us in our fight to end hunger!

To see pictures from last year’s event, click here.

To register for this year’s event, click here.

Get Your Taste Buds Ready for City Pages’ Iron Fork

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Join us for the City Pages’ Iron Fork event, where top local chefs will test their culinary skills against each other to see who can create the most appetizing dish from one secret ingredient. The event, which will be held on November 7th at International Market Square in downtown Minneapolis, will run from 6pm to 9pm.

The head-to-head culinary battle will raise money for Second Harvest Heartland and our fight to end hunger. Over the last six years, the event has raised nearly $30,000—enough to provide over 104,000 meals to our hungry neighbors.

You can also sample signature dishes from local restaurants, enjoy samples of beer and wine, and see local bartenders compete for the title of “Master Mixologist.” Tickets are $25 in advance, $35 at the door, or just $45 for a special VIP ticket that entitles you to a private cash bar, exclusive dessert stations and butler-passed samples from participating restaurants. All tickets include wine, liquor and beer samples as well as signature dishes from more than 20 local Twin Cities’ restaurants.

Buy your tickets today here.

You and your taste buds don’t want to miss this event!

Competing Chefs Include:
Local Chefs will battle to see who can create the most appetizing dish from a secret ingredient provided by Lunds and revealed right before the competition.

  • 2012 Winner Landon Schoenefeld – Haute Dish
  • Daniel de Prado – Burch Steak
  • Jack Riebel – Butcher and the Boar
  • Ian Gray – The Gray House
  • Stephanie Kochlin – Pig & Fiddle
  • TBD – Art Institutes Chef

Restaurants Sampling Include:

  • Tony Roma’s SteakhousePizza Luce
  • The Spyhouse Coffee Shop
  • B.T. McElrath Chocolates
  • Los Ocampo
  • Glamdoll Donuts
  • Pour Wine Bar
  • Signature Cafe
  • Big Marina
  • Bayport BBQ
  • Pancho Villa
  • French Hen Café

*More being added
Photo courtesy of City Pages

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!