Capital Campaign Partners
At Second Harvest Heartland, we are fueled by the generosity, commitment and passion our community has put toward helping neighbors experiencing hunger. From suppliers of food to agency partners, from volunteers to donors, from advocates to our elected officials, many different individuals and groups are working together to solve hunger. Fortunately for the future, the list of partners is long and growing.
Thank You to the following groups for helping make this project possible.
Every year, we get our work done with the help of more than 30,000 volunteers, from large groups to individual skilled volunteers, doing everything from repacking potatoes into smaller bags to advising on how to maximize storage in our limited space.
To help design our volunteer space and realize our vision of delivering a world-class volunteer experience, Second Harvest Heartland turned to our long-time partner, Target, an industry leader in innovation and guest experience, for help.
State and City Support
We are thankful to the Minnesota state legislature for understanding the role that this campaign will play in helping the entire state. With the infusion of bonding support from the state, and working together with the City of Brooklyn Park, we can build more capacity, scope, and innovation to solve hunger together.
Hunger-relief Agency Partners
As a food bank, we are part of entire system across the state working to help get food from where there is too much to where it’s needed the most. We work collaboratively with a network of agencies, from local food shelves run entirely by volunteers, to national organizations offering multiples services. Once we are fully functional in our new facility, we will able to offer them more fresh food, in sizes and varieties they can immediately put on their shelves, and through our related programming, we will also help them increase their capacity.
Teri and Robert Crosby
Teri and Robert Crosby give countless hours of time and dollars of support to many organizations, so why Second Harvest Heartland? “Really, they support all three areas we care about: children, the less fortunate, and mental health services,” she explained. Why those three? “The children are simply our future,” as Teri puts it, “and often times don’t have a voice to fend for themselves. And mental health services are desperately understaffed as well as under-supported. Within that broad category, veterans and those suffering from PTSD are a primary focus for us.”
How does Second Harvest Heartland wrap around these? “Children who are hungry lack health — the basic necessity to grow, learn, and achieve. And a desperate number of veterans are food-insecure.”
What’s one thing she thinks people don’t understand about hunger relief? “Not being able to afford food isn’t a matter of homelessness, unemployment, or being uneducated. Those are some of the misconceptions I’ve run into. 98% of us are one head injury away from needing food bank services.”
Why is she investing her time in the capital campaign? “Because what Second Harvest Heartland accomplishes with the square footage, refrigeration, and current resources is simply astounding. Especially if you start comparing to other food banks in the nation. Once they can expand, I believe they will ROCK with their new accomplishments.”
“For me, it doesn’t make sense, with as rich a country and state as we’re in, that people should go hungry. Especially children,” says David Nassif, former CFO of The Caldrea Company, a long-time volunteer, and a current member of the Campaign Executive Committee. Like any good investor, David did his due diligence on Second Harvest Heartland, which meant more than checking the 990. From boxing up unsold fresh produce after farmers’ markets to repacking flatbread into smaller packages for food shelves, David has seen the organization from the inside out.
So why help with a $50M capital campaign? “The efficiency of Second Harvest has always impressed me. Now we need more and better space to become even more efficient.” With the emphasis on fresh, healthy food, David sees the need to have the right the right resources to get that kind of food to meal programs and food shelves statewide.
After all these years of telling people about Second Harvest, what’s one thing people still don’t know? “The food shelf is like the retail store; that’s what people see. Second Harvest is like the back end that nobody knows about. But in fact it’s the backbone of the whole system.”
When I talk to people about hunger, I focus on both the emotional side and the business side,” says long-time Second Harvest Heartland volunteer, fundraiser, and event-creator, John Wanninger. “On the emotional side, it’s painful to think about kids not having enough to eat, in the U.S., in 2018. It just shouldn’t happen. No excuse for it. On the business side, we all work very hard in our careers. I look for a good return on my investment of my time and money. When I tell people about the multiplier effect of Second Harvest Heartland — that every $1 provides three meals — that’s amazing. People respond to that.”
John’s history with hunger relief goes back to the very first Vintner Ball. After helping to launch the wine-tasting event, or wine party as he calls it, he’s now involved with another fun event, Heartbeat for Hunger (featuring live music at venues like The Fine Line Music Cafe).
“It takes time, effort, and creativity to make it happen,” he says, talking about his work on events. “The lesson we’ve learned is that there are those who can write a $1M check, and there are those who can figure out how to make $1M happen. It doesn’t matter which one you are. The bottom line is, you have an opportunity to give back.”
John jumped in to help with the capital campaign too, sharing the story of the needs and Second Harvest Heartland’s plans to address them. For all of John’s and his family’s investment, he feels he’s received more than he’s given. “It makes your soul feel good,” is how he puts it.