Family of four sitting outside holding prepared meals


Communities of color often face disproportionate rates of hunger and food insecurity. We refer to these disparities as the racial hunger divide, and we’re committed to confronting and closing it.

Understanding—and Solving—the Hunger Divide

How Racial Disparity Impacts Hunger

In 2021, 1 in 15 of our Minnesota neighbors was food insecure. Within that statistic, however, were dramatically higher rates of food insecurity for some of our neighbors of color: 25% of Black people and 17% of Hispanic people in Minnesota were food insecure in 2021. For White people, the rate was 5%.

We refer to these disparities as the racial hunger divide.

Food banks like Second Harvest Heartland must be part of the solution in addressing racial injustices and making access to healthy food fair and equitable for all. It’s why we’re investing $13.2 million to confront and eliminate racial disparities in hunger, and taking a leadership role in tackling this important issue.

We’re committed to:

  • Applying a racial equity lens to our programs, services and operations
  • Elevating racial hunger divide work as a strategic priority of our organization
  • Improving community engagement and partnerships with other organizations in fighting the hunger divide
  • Developing and reporting our effort and progress
A man carries trays of meals to a neighborhood drop off point

Join Us in This Important Work

Greater Awareness and Action Benefits Us All

You can start by understanding the causes and current-state of the hunger divide. Seek out a range of voices impacted by and engaged in addressing racial disparities in hunger. Hold us accountable to this work and the creation of more equitable community.

What Causes the Hunger Divide?

Tackling a Complicated and Deeply Rooted Problem

For many, hunger stems from an unexpected event: a car accident, an unexpected medical bill, a job loss or divorce.

However, the circumstances that lead to food insecurity can be much more complicated, pervasive, and deeply rooted, particularly for non-White households:

  • Living wages
  • Affordable housing
  • Reliable transportation access
  • Healthcare access and affordability
  • Racism and discrimination—and more.

When so many factors contribute to food insecurity, it’s clear why households struggle. Stark racial disparities exist in access to food, as well as many other measurable markers, from income and home ownership to education and wealth.

To better understand disparities is to better understand the hunger divide. Raising awareness, getting involved and actively addressing gaps brings us one step closer to our mission of ending hunger together and creating a more just and equitable future.

Hear from Partners. Join the Work.

On October 27, 2022, we hosted Toward A More Equitable Future, a panel conversation focused on insights, ideas and action in addressing the racial hunger divide, together. You can watch the conversation here, then reach out to join us in this work.


Food on a cart waiting to be picked up

Expanding Partnerships

Listening to Community

Local food shelves, nonprofits and community organizations know how to reach communities of color. Take the Du Nord Foundation Community Market as an example.
Two young girls hold pans for prepared meals for their class

Where it's Needed Most

Delivering More Food

When lack of transportation or nearby grocery stores creates barriers to food access, direct food delivery can help. See Hope Youth Center and Pham’s Rice Bowl.
A container of hominy in a commercial kitchen

Culturally Connected Ingredients

Offering More Variety Through

When familiar staples are available, everyone feels welcome at their neighborhood food shelf or distribution. Our sourcing of culturally connected foods is critical.
A Black male farmer standing in his cornfield smiling

Supporting BIPOC Farmers

Addressing Racial Wealth Gaps

As a large produce buyer, we can strengthen our agricultural community and address the racial wealth gap by purchasing from more BIPOC-owned farms, like those who work with The Good Acre.

Understanding the Racial Hunger Divide

Explore these resources to better understand the root causes and potential solutions to racial disparities in hunger and other areas.   

Research: Understanding the Racial Hunger Divide

Voices and Solutions: Considering the Racial Hunger Divide From the Frontlines