Fueling the Future: A 21st Century Approach to Hunger Relief
At Second Harvest Heartland, we believe that no one should go hungry. But one in 11 Minnesotans doesn’t know where the next meal will come from; and one in eight children may not eat tonight. Not only is hunger a basic need, but good food is also foundational to everything else in life.
Imagine how vibrant our community could be if no one had to worry about finding their next meal.
How do we help?
Think of Second Harvest Heartland like a “wholesaler” for donated and rescued foods. We get food in large quantities, primarily through farmers, food producers, and grocery stores, and then we distribute it throughout 59 counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin to 1,000 food shelf and meal program partners — think of them like the “retail locations.” We provide, on average, 74% of the food that is in turn given to our neighbors in need through food shelves.
We have grown from distributing 41 million pounds of food in 2008 to more than 93 million pounds (more than 81 million meals) in 2017. In 2017, 57.5 percent of the food we distributed was fresh, meaning meat, bread, dairy, vegetables, fruit. And fresh food, especially produce, is the fastest-growing type of food we can source and distribute.
Current and Projected Distribution Growth
Why the campaign?
We know that families, children and seniors are still missing meals — and we don’t have the right amount or type of space to meet those needs. While the volume of food, the amount of fresh food, and our efficiency in dealing with it are growing, our space is not. Our 30 year-old facility simply cannot take on more food to meet the needs of our community.
We also know that many of the people who need food can’t always get to it because of barriers like not having reliable transportation, not living close to a food shelf or meal program, or not being able to get there because of their work schedules.
We need a new building, with more space and functionality, and new ways of reaching people to feed hungry neighbors in our region.
See the need by watching this short video:
We began the campaign in 2016 and anticipate concluding all fundraising components by 2021.
Frequently asked questions
You can find answers to frequently asked questions here.