Leading with Heart
When families can’t make ends meet, they often rely on their local food shelf or meal program to keep everyone fed. Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis operates the largest meal program in the Twin Cities, serving more than 3,000 meals a day. They depend on Second Harvest Heartland for much of the food to make those meals happen. We are very fortunate to have Second Harvest Heartland in our community, says Kathleen Turner, Food Services Partnership Manager with Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. They are well-managed, and they genuinely care about the clients at the center of their mission.
As one of the largest food banks in the United States, we take our role seriously. Beyond simply “recycling” donated food, we collaborate with numerous partners to relieve hunger in many ways:
We joined forces with the five other food banks serving Minnesota to promote Share Fresh Minnesota, which works with farmers to encourage donations of excess produce to local food banks, and Invest an Acre, a program where farmers donate proceeds from a portion of their non-edible crop sales.
In 2014, the Minnesota Legislature passed the "Farm to Foodshelf" bill, a $2 million, 3-year appropriation funded by the State of Minnesota to help the state's agricultural producers and processors offset a portion of their costs to harvest and package for transfer donated produce that would otherwise go unharvested or be discarded. Growers donate this produce to help food shelves and other meal programs in the state provide more fresh food to clients. The program is administered through Second Harvest Heartland and the other Feeding America food banks serving Minnesota.
Our Hunger and Health forums brought together partners from health, government and other arenas to better understand the reasons to link the hunger and health care sectors to improve patients’ lives.
Our new Food + You school-based hunger relief pilot program—lead funding provided by Target—offers food boxes and the services of a nutrition navigator at 10 schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul, helping feed students and their families each month.
In recognition of our strong leadership, innovation and efficiencies, Second Harvest Heartland was named 2014 Food Bank of the Year by Feeding America.
Year in and year out, our staff, leadership team and Board of Directors bring talents, insight and compassion to the fight against hunger.
Many Ways Food Gets to Hungry Neighbors: Food Resources and Programs
To meet clients’ needs in a variety of ways, we promote more food security through a number of programs and services that reach seniors, children and families.
Want to get involved? Visit 2harvest.org for opportunities.