More Access to Healthy Food

More Access to Fresh, Healthy Food

Everyone deserves access to fresh, healthy food. But families across Minnesota face barriers to getting nutritious food on the table. With your support, we’re committed to expanding access to healthy food to everyone in our region.

Through strategic coordination of a number of programs, services and partnerships, we’re working on creative solutions to connect our agency partners and hungry neighbors with more fresh food, faster than ever before. Of the food we distributed in 2015, 53 percent was fresh food and more than 28 percent was produce—the highest percentages in the history of our food bank. Here’s a few ways of how you’re helping us do it:


Retail Food Rescue

Retail Food Rescue continues to be the largest source of donated food for Second Harvest Heartland. To help further increase the amount of fresh food collected through this program, our Retail Food Rescue team trains agency partners to pick-up and safely transport fresh food donations. This agency-enabled model of food sourcing helps get more fresh food to food shelf clients in the quickest manner possible and expands the reach to more rural communities and people in need.

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Retail partners like CUB know the importance of fresh food donations and have more than doubled the amount of food donated since 2011.


Share Fresh Minnesota

In 2015, we partnered with 46 Minnesota growers through Share Fresh Minnesota. * Programs like this provide growers with an option for donating produce that would otherwise not be harvested.

*Supported by “Farm to Foodshelf” grant funding

Getting more fresh produce where it needs to go: how we do it

Video - Share Fresh

Pioneering new ways to reach those in need

Second Harvest Heartland and our partners have been challenged to pioneer new ways to reach those in need because of the growth in the amount of produce collected through Retail Food Rescue and Share Fresh Minnesota.

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Some of those new ways are:

Fresh produce distributions

Nearly 100 of the agency partners we support have produce distributions as part of their normal operations. But many of our agency partners don’t have the volunteer resources to run such large-scale distributions on their own. With Second Harvest Heartland Fresh Produce Distributions, we provide volunteers to those partners to help them build their capacity so they can do it on their own in the future.

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Case-counted produce subscriptions

This year, agency partners had the opportunity to subscribe to a delivery of one to three boxes of each type of produce available with their regular order. Eighty four agency partners opted in for this option, allowing smaller food shelves to receive local produce that’s in season and in a quantity that they can distribute to clients without worrying about storage or waste.

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