Planted Kale

Sourcing Produce Through Three Organizations Supporting Emerging Farmers

July kicks off fresh produce season here at Second Harvest Heartland. Soon, our coolers will be brimming with seasonal vegetables and fruits on their way to hunger-relief partners across the state. 

As a large produce buyer, we strengthen our agricultural community and address the racial wealth gap by intentionally purchasing from emerging farmers. This year, we are collaborating with three organizations—two new partnerships and one ongoing partnership—to purchase food from farms owned and run by small-scale and emerging farmers.


Minnesota African Immigrant Farmers Association

The Minnesota African Immigrant Farmers Association (MAIFA) is a nonprofit association devoted to the growth and development of the African farming community in Minnesota. MAIFA works with small scale farm operations that will deliver produce directly to seven Second Harvest Heartland food shelf partners. We’ll be investing $60,000 in this new partnership which will allow us to source culturally connected produce varieties that we can’t get anywhere else.

Saint Paul Farmers’ Market  

Second Harvest Heartland is sourcing food from growers who sell their produce at the Saint Paul Farmers’ Market by purchasing leftover produce for $1 a pound following a market day. This helps farmers avoid hauling excess produce back to their farms and provides local families with fresh, local, and good quality fruits and vegetables.

The Good Acre

Since 2021, Second Harvest Heartland has been partnering with The Good Acre, a nonprofit food hub, to support Minnesota's diverse agricultural community and supply neighbors with fresh, locally grown produce. Participating farmers will sell around 270,000 pounds of vegetables—including varieties beloved by various cultural communities—to Second Harvest Heartland. Second Harvest Heartland will in turn distribute produce to its network of food shelf and meal program partners, and farmers will be paid the current market rate for their products.


Through strengthening the economic power of emerging farmers by purchasing produce, these partnerships address hunger through providing seasonal produce to neighbors, while providing a dependable source of income to emerging farmers.