Notable Moments from 2018 (That You Made Possible!)

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January 16, 2019 By: Tina Mortimer Category: SHH News

For the Second Harvest Heartland community, 2018 was an amazing and eventful year. It’s not possible to list all the notable moments, but we did come up with this short list from a few Second Harvest Heartland employees. Every day is another opportunity to live our mission to end hunger with the help of our vast network of hunger-relief agencies and food pantries, and these stories show that progress toward the change we are working for can be found every day, in every interaction. Read on to see what we mean.

Hosting more than 300 corporate volunteers at our new facility

“For me, a highlight was having our biggest corporate-partner volunteer event to date with American Family Insurance. On Saturday, September 22, we hosted American Family Insurance’s “One Saturday to Dream Fearlessly” Day at our new Brooklyn Park facility. Approximately 340 agents, corporate employees, clients and family members volunteered in two shifts repackaging over 23,000 pounds of rice and potatoes! After each shift they celebrated with food trucks, music, games and comradery. We couldn’t do what we do without our great corporate partners and their employees stepping up to volunteer with us throughout the year.” 

- Julie Greene, Corporate Engagement Specialist

Cultivating meaningful relationships among partners

“The most memorable/impactful moment for me was when our partners, Nicole and Quintin, from MNIC Unity visited another Food + You school, Hiawatha Leadership Academy – Collegiate to observe how they implemented a Second Chance Breakfast program for their students. The visit was impactful because MNIC Unity staff was able to see firsthand the impact of the program. It was impactful for me because I was able to see how our current cohort of Food + You schools have formed meaningful relationships with each other and rely on each other for insights when making meal-model changes. The reactions on Nicole and Quintin’s faces were priceless. They were both inspired and walked away with new ideas for how they wanted to start a Second Chance Breakfast at MNIC Unity.”

- Leah Baack, School and Community Food Programs Coordinator

Free turkeys and the power of a few mighty volunteers

“Our Thanksgiving turkey giveaway event with Land O’Lakes and Feeding Frogtown was amazing and remarkable and not just because Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs was handing out meals to community members. Feeding Frogtown has only one staff person — Delinia Parris — who enlisted the help of more than 20 volunteers, many of whom are also clients, to facilitate the weekly distributions at St. Paul City Middle School. Delinia, her volunteers and community members were so thankful for the added turkey distribution.”

- Heather Olson, Director of Corporate Marketing

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Watching a community come together around hunger

“I was privileged to work with the community of St. Peter, Minn., this spring to plan for seasonal produce distributions as one of the first outstate Fresh Program partners. The planning group consisted of staff from two of the area hospitals, the food shelf, the local college, a SHIP representative, the faith community, University of Minnesota Extension and a Second Harvest Heartland SNAP Outreach Specialist.  Serving in a consultant/resource role, I sat by and watched as they carefully chose a site that was close to low-income neighborhoods, worked with the city to plan a bus route for the event and reached in to the community to source a variety of volunteers. Simply amazing and heartwarming to see our mission at work, ending hunger through community partnerships.”

- Charlene Graff, Agency Relations Account Specialist


Fueling a stronger, healthier future when everyone is fed

“Receiving state bonding dollars to support renovation of our new Brooklyn Park facility was a momentous accomplishment. Because of this investment, we will move ahead this year with full renovation for our new distribution center. The goal is to finish our new facility in early 2020. With state bonding dollars and the investment of many generous Minnesota families, foundations and corporations, we will generate an additional 68 million meals more effectively. We know we couldn’t have reached this point without the tremendous support of our donors, community partners and legislative leaders who understand that if you’re hungry, you can’t be healthy.”

- Marcus Schmit, Director of Advocacy


Thank you for all you did to help us feed our neighbors in 2018. With your continued support, we’ll bring even more neighbors to the table in 2019. Learn about the many ways you can get involved.




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