Partnerships Create More Access

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June 1, 2016 By: Marie Pauley Category: SHH News

Creating Access through Unique Partnerships

During monthly distributions to students and families through the Food + You program at St. Paul Music Academy, a unique element has made distributions even more exciting – fresh produce. By connecting the school to the local food shelf, in addition to their box of shelf-stable food items, families receive produce.

“I had a student come up to me in the hallway to make sure we have our distribution next week and asked ‘are there going to be potatoes?'” said Craig Sweet, achievement plus coordinator, “students are excited about the produce and what it means they can have at home.”

This is a similar sentiment to individuals served through Fresh Produce Distributions in other areas of the community. Last year, Second Harvest Heartland directly supported six distributions sites, reaching 17,600 individuals.

Fresh Produce is a Priority for our Hungry Neighbors

As a single, working mother, Rachel knows that the needs of her kids come before her own and that includes providing healthy foods.

“The biggest thing for me is finding fresh fruits and vegetables, which cost more,” said Rachel. “Having access to good foods for my kids, that’s a struggle, but it’s really important to me.”

Mitch’s reality has changed over the past few years. After becoming the primary caretaker for his adult brother and being diagnosed with his own health condition, resources have become more limited. Nutritious food has become even more important, in order to manage his health.

“Healthy food to me right now is more important just because of the illness that I have,” said Mitch “I think it’s helping me out and I’m trying to leverage that [healthy food as medicine] for my brother.”


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