More Access to Healthy Food
More Access to Fresh, Healthy Food
Everyone deserves access to fresh, healthy food. But families across Minnesota face barriers to getting nutritious food on the table. With your support, we’re committed to expanding access to healthy food to everyone in our region.
Through strategic coordination of a number of programs, services and partnerships, we’re working on creative solutions to connect our agency partners and hungry neighbors with more fresh food, faster than ever before. Of the food we distributed in 2015, 53 percent was fresh food and more than 28 percent was produce—the highest percentages in the history of our food bank. Here’s a few ways of how you’re helping us do it:
Retail Food Rescue
Retail Food Rescue continues to be the largest source of donated food for Second Harvest Heartland. To help further increase the amount of fresh food collected through this program, our Retail Food Rescue team trains agency partners to pick-up and safely transport fresh food donations. This agency-enabled model of food sourcing helps get more fresh food to food shelf clients in the quickest manner possible and expands the reach to more rural communities and people in need.
Retail partners like CUB know the importance of fresh food donations and have more than doubled the amount of food donated since 2011.
As CUB grows and expands, so do our donations to Second Harvest Heartland. Knowing the importance of providing fresh and nutritious food to those in need, our teams work hard to continuously manage our shelves for products to be donated via Food Rescue.
Getting more fresh produce where it needs to go: how we do it
Pioneering new ways to reach those in need
Second Harvest Heartland and our partners have been challenged to pioneer new ways to reach those in need because of the growth in the amount of produce collected through Retail Food Rescue and Share Fresh Minnesota.
Some of those new ways are:
Fresh produce distributions
Nearly 100 of the agency partners we support have produce distributions as part of their normal operations. But many of our agency partners don’t have the volunteer resources to run such large-scale distributions on their own. With Second Harvest Heartland Fresh Produce Distributions, we provide volunteers to those partners to help them build their capacity so they can do it on their own in the future.
Case-counted produce subscriptions
This year, agency partners had the opportunity to subscribe to a delivery of one to three boxes of each type of produce available with their regular order. Eighty four agency partners opted in for this option, allowing smaller food shelves to receive local produce that’s in season and in a quantity that they can distribute to clients without worrying about storage or waste.
I signed up for three cases each week and we’ve been receiving up to six different varieties of outstanding, quality vegetables with each delivery. With all of the fresh produce, we’ve been able to put a lot more food in the hands of people without spending more money.