Partnerships that make it possible

Community partnerships

More than just a mission statement, ending hunger truly takes a community. Continued partnership with people like you, as well as agency partners, individual donors, volunteers and organizations, make our work possible.

Meet a few of our partners that went above and beyond last year, taking a unique approach and playing a crucial role in the hunger relief community.

Champions of Hope

Everyday people prioritizing helping others is something that never fails to inspire us. We could never feature everyone who makes an impact (this page can only go so far), but every year we reach out to a handful of the year’s Champions of Hope to recognize at least a few. These corporate, food shelf and individual partners have helped provide food for someone else with their exceptional, everyday actions.

From a taproom to a family’s table

For his day job, Ben Hering is the Director of Engagement at the Minnesota Credit Union Network. But on the weekends, Ben works for Indeed Brewery in Northeast Minneapolis. The brewery has a give-back initiative called Indeed We Can, in which proceeds from every Wednesday night go to an employee-chosen local nonprofit. Of all the amazing nonprofits in the Twin Cities, Ben’s beneficiary of choice is Second Harvest Heartland.


Buried in data, but lifting up hungry families

Behind the scenes and behind the data is one of the services that will help keep Hunger & Health at the forefront of community conversations. DTA Associates, a Minneapolis-based healthcare consulting company, helped Second Harvest Heartland procure a HIPAA-compliant platform for safely storing patient data, greatly strengthening the work of our FOODRx program. DTA Associates continues to support us in transferring data, analytics and maintenance for the program.


A Food & Fund Drive with nationwide impact

The past two years, Blake Sloan has helped organize a Food & Fund Drive at APi Group, Inc. Together, the 10 Twin Cities companies collected nearly 2,500 pounds of food and raised $7,400, totaling more than 24,000 meals in one year! And that was just what was donated to Second Harvest Heartland — APi Group, Inc.’s companies across the nation were inspired by the Twin Cities Food & Fund Drive and coordinated their own drives, donating more than 15,000 meals to their local food shelves.

– Blake Sloan, LeJeune Steel Company, APi Group, Inc.


A foundational, generous supporter

A foundational, generous supporter Nivin MacMillan considers her partnership modest, but her impact is immense. For the last three years, Nivin has generously supported Second Harvest Heartland’s general operating budget through her foundation, W. Duncan and Nivin MacMillan Foundation. She gave $25,000 in 2017 alone, the equivalent of 75,000 meals!

– Nivin MacMillan, W. Duncan and Nivin MacMillan Foundation


Always working to increase access to food

In less than one year, Meeker Area Food Shelf in Litchfield, Minn. switched to a client-choice model and adjusted their service hours to better accommodate Meeker County. As a result, Meeker Area Food Shelf was able to increase the number of clients served by 65 percent!

– Jayme Reverman, Meeker Area Food Shelf Executive Director


Forward-thinking philanthropy

After her divorce, Tami Richardson took the opportunity to review her life and her legacy. In her will and estate plan this year, Tami designated 100 percent of her assets to charities, and nearly half will go to Second Harvest Heartland, leaving an amazing legacy for generations to come. Tami says she is especially moved by children and seniors facing hunger. “I've always felt these are the two most vulnerable segments of the (food insecure) population due to their dependence on others because of their age,” she said.


Driving hunger relief forward

Our biggest expense at Second Harvest Heartland is transportation — the cost per mile to deliver food really adds up, especially when you consider our 59-county service area. That’s why organizations like Penske Company really make a difference. Penske Company has donated a truck and provided two company volunteers, resources that help serve more of our neighbors in North Mankato. With this donation, we can perform a monthly distribution which serves more than 100 households in Nicollet County.

– Kelly Lauwagie, Branch Operations Coordinator, Penske Company


Millions of carrots from the Fields’

Ed Fields and Sons farm in Andover, Minn grows radishes, parsnips, carrots, beets, onions and winter squash. You can find their produce at major grocery stores, packed in their own label across a five-state area in the Midwest. But, something you don’t see are the millions of pounds of carrots that are donated to local food banks. Since 2011, Chuck Fields, owner of the farm has donated more than 4 million pounds!



It’s hard to measure the work our volunteers do for Second Harvest Heartland. We depend on them to accomplish nearly every aspect of our work and their involvement is growing. Here, they explain why they choose to spend their time with our programs.


Volunteers contribute specialized skills to build more capacity

While many Second Harvest Heartland volunteers sort and pack food in our warehouse, we have a growing number of volunteers who provide specialized talents for long-term projects or an ongoing basis. Volunteers help build our capacity and in 2017 we began work to become a Certified Service Enterprise volunteer organization. This certification further supports increasing inclusion of the many skills our volunteers have to offer.

One of the many teams drawing upon our talented and dedicated volunteers, last year was the Produce team. They strategically identified ways to creatively use volunteers to add capacity in communications, mitigating food waste and more.