Growth Brings Opportunity: Looking Ahead

Pallets of green peppers hurry past on forklifts, as huge totes full of cabbage are unloaded from the back of a semitrailer. Volunteers repackage donated bread, while staff members reach out to food shelves to alert them that sweet corn is available. It’s a typical summer day at Second Harvest Heartland, and in all corners of the organization, getting food to our clients is a tightly choreographed ballet.

As more people use food shelves and more food is distributed to them, the demands on Second Harvest Heartland continue to grow. Last year, we distributed a record 89.4 million pounds of food – 40 million more pounds than just seven years ago. A growing percentage of that food is fresh—now nearly 50 percent of what we distribute.

Pounds and Scales (inset)

warehouse view

Maximizing Efficiencies

  • Our warehouses are the nerve centers of what we do, serving as hubs to receive and distribute donations large and small. Learn a few fun facts about our operations, and take a virtual tour to see our warehouse in action.
  • Since 2009, we maximized our space and more than doubled our warehouse capacity by adding a new Service Center space in Golden Valley in addition to installing new racking at our Maplewood facility.
  • Operations added a second shift in June 2014 to more safely receive, move and distribute the increased food volume.
  • The Produce Capture Institute, led by Second Harvest Heartland, is a first-of-its kind resource within the Feeding America network, focused on locally sourcing unutilized agricultural products.
  • The launch of the Produce Bagging Center, a pilot project that will allow us to rescue an additional 2.5 million pounds of produce for distribution into the emergency food system with the help of volunteers and a produce bagging machine.
Produce Bagging Video

2015 and Beyond

There are so many ways you can help us do more great things in the coming year — and beyond! Whether you’d like to make a donation, volunteer time, donate food or help us grow our partnerships, we’d love for you to join us!