Above & Beyond: Emily Coborn, Second Harvest Heartland Board Member
Emily Coborn is a District Manager at St. Cloud, Minnesota-based Coborn’s Inc., an employee-owned grocery retailer with more than 100 retail locations throughout the upper Midwest. Emily joined the Second Harvest Heartland Board of Directors in 2012.
We asked Emily a few questions about her involvement with the Board, and her passion for hunger relief.
How did you become involved with Second Harvest Heartland and the Board?
“I received a call from Second Harvest Heartland shortly after I joined Coborn’s, asking whether we’d consider joining its Retail Food Rescue program. I was in communications at the time so it wasn’t my call to make, but I believed in the mission and did what I could to make the partnership happen.
It was one of those moments where I felt I was contributing to the greater good of our organization and community. That’s why it was exciting when a few days later, a member of the Second Harvest Heartland Board asked if I’d consider joining. They were looking to bring in a new perspective—that of a millennial and a future supporter. I agreed and it’s been an eye-opening and powerful experience.”
As you look ahead in the next several years, what do you see as the Board’s priorities?
“One of the Board’s priorities is to diversify Second Harvest Heartland’s donor and volunteer base. We need to mobilize and inspire the next generation of supporters so we can continue closing the missing meal gap.”
Why should Minnesotans care about ending hunger?
“Hunger can be the root problem for many other societal issues. Hungry children may not learn well at school. Medical patients who are malnourished have a higher rate of re-admittance to hospitals or clinics than those who have access to healthy food. By ending hunger, we can solve many other issues so we can build stronger and healthier communities for everyone.”
How can other individuals become involved with Second Harvest Heartland?
“The first and most important step is to become aware. Visit 2harvest.org to learn about hunger. Recognize that hunger is a solvable problem. We produce more food in our country than can be consumed; it’s just a matter of connecting food sources with hungry neighbors. Identify ways you can help end hunger —whether by spreading awareness, donating or volunteering.
Ending hunger is not something that a single group or organization can do on its own—we all need to play our part in closing the missing meal gap.”