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.