The Giving Green Initiative is based on the integration of several Second Harvest Heartland-facilitated or partner programs related to securing fresh produce for those in need. Fresh produce is one of the most difficult types of food to deliver to our hungry neighbors, due to its perishability and high cost, but is also one of the most crucial to a nutritious, plentiful meal. The Giving Green umbrella includes three key programs:
Each year in Minnesota, millions of pounds of food goes to waste. Second Harvest Heartland’s Food Rescue Program recovers a variety of nutritious foods from Twin Cities-area retail businesses for community food shelves and meal programs. Each week, the Food Rescue program’s trucks and drivers collect produce, dairy, meat, bakery and shelf stable items from more than 80 grocery stores and other various donors. This product is then distributed to meal programs and foods shelves throughout Second Harvest Heartland’s 59-county service area. Food Rescue partners include such retailers as Cub Foods, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Kowalski’s and Target.
In July of 2009, Second Harvest Heartland teamed up with the Minneapolis Farmers Market to collect produce from vendors and shoppers at the market during the growing season. The collaboration quickly caught the attention of market-goers, growers and the media—all of whom recognize the importance of delivering fresh produce to our neighbors in need. With the help of hundreds of volunteers—and more than 800 volunteer hours logged—we collected more than 50 tons of fresh food at the Farmers Market during the first summer of the partnership! To find out about volunteering at the Farmers Market, click here.
In late 2008, a local apple orchard owner approached Second Harvest Heartland, asking for help in gleaning the remaining apples from her trees before the winter freeze. What began as a small request has spawned a movement; in 2009, more than 1,100 volunteers logged more than 3,219 hours at orchards across the metro area. The commitment and dedication of everyone involved—from the orchard owner to the family of volunteers— enabled SHH to provide more than 170 tons of apples to our neighbors in need. Check back soon for apple picking events.
The success of the Giving Green initiative is made possible by: