A woman picking cherry tomato off the vine

Stories of Ending Hunger

The Second Harvest Heartland Blog

What it looks like to end hunger together

Family Eating at Table

4 Reasons Why People Need Food Assistance This Winter

4 Reasons Why People Need Food Assistance This Winter

Heading into the holidays, we’re all ready to celebrate the season with our family and loved ones. But for too many, recent financial pressures have made it difficult to afford the same comforting meals we turn to this time of year. But behind the headlines warning of more expensive holiday dinners are a number of challenges exacerbating food insecurity this fall and winter. 

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Meals distributed by NorthStar Health

Neighbors Helping Neighbors at Minnesota Central Kitchen Partner NorthStar Health

Neighbors Helping Neighbors at Minnesota Central Kitchen Partner NorthStar Health

NorthStar Health, a community-driven resource center in St. Paul, recently started partnering with Minnesota Central Kitchen to provide meals to their patients.

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: Public Affairs Specialist Rachel Sosnowchik explains the Farm Bill nutrition programs at the listening session in Minneapolis

Farm Bill Listening Sessions

Farm Bill Listening Sessions

This summer, Second Harvest Heartland hosted eight Farm Bill listening sessions in partnership with Minnesota’s other Feeding America food banks. These statewide events brought together food shelf staff, pantry clients and SNAP participants to discuss how Farm Bill nutrition programs can be strengthened and improved. Read on to learn more about our key findings and how we will use this information to inform our advocacy efforts ahead of the 2023 Farm Bill.

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Big Lake Community Food Shelf volunteer prepares for a delivery

COVID Adaptations Spark Lasting Changes for Food Shelves

COVID Adaptations Spark Lasting Changes for Food Shelves

Drive-up programs, online ordering and delivery options have cropped up across the hunger relief system in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, many of those programs originally meant to be short-term adaptations have been adopted as permanent fixtures at food shelves with lasting benefits for the community.

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Warehouse pallet driver

A Day in the Life of a Food Shelf Order

A Day in the Life of a Food Shelf Order

Ever wonder how the healthy, donated food from our food bank gets to food shelves and agency partners across Minnesota and Western Wisconsin? It takes a team, technology and transportation.

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belle plaine produce distribution

A Fresh Resource for the Belle Plaine Community

A Fresh Resource for the Belle Plaine Community

Each summer, the Belle Plaine Area Food Shelf makes fresh fruits and vegetables from Second Harvest Heartland available to their whole community.

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Rachel Sosnowchik and Maren Guptill from the Public Affairs Team present at the advocacy training session held at Second Harvest Heartland. The presentation shows a policy overview to “Invest in Hunger Free Schools.” A postcard on the table reads “It’s Time for Hunger-Free Schools.”

Advocacy Spotlight: Interview with Volunteer Ben Savin

Advocacy Spotlight: Interview with Volunteer Ben Savin

This spring, Second Harvest Heartland hosted an advocacy training session where volunteers and employees came together to learn more about how to get involved in important food policy work. After the sessions, we interviewed participants to gather feedback on what people learned. Here is an interview with Ben Savin, a CSFP and advocacy volunteer.

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Minnesota Central Kitchen

Minnesota Central Kitchen in the Classroom and on the Mainstage

Minnesota Central Kitchen in the Classroom and on the Mainstage

There is no slowing down the momentum of Minnesota Central Kitchen (MCK)! Celebrating a 3 million meal milestone in recent weeks, coupled with several high-profile speaking opportunities, the freshly prepared meal program continues to inspire and recruit new partners.

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Leigh Peters-Fransen, husband Joel and family, Donors & Volunteers

Thank You Donors!

Thank You Donors!

Donor support helps make everything we do at Second Harvest Heartland possible! That's why we're designating an entire week—August 1-7—to show our thanks and appreciation to the individuals, families, community partners and corporate donors who support Second Harvest Heartland's mission to end hunger together.

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Leaders in agriculture and politics stand in a food bank warehouse speaking to media

Preparing for the 2023 Farm Bill

Preparing for the 2023 Farm Bill

Every five years, Congress reauthorizes the Farm Bill, which sets funding levels and requirements for nutrition programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). Second Harvest Heartland is working with partners across the state to strengthen these important hunger-fighting programs in the 2023 Farm Bill.

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June 29, 2022 - 5 Hunger-Fighting Reasons to Give Monthly

June 22, 2022 - End of Legislative Session Brings Missed Opportunities for Lawmakers to Address Food Insecurity

June 15, 2022 - How Haven Housing Gives Food a Second Chance with Food Rescue

June 14, 2022 - Five Food Donors Fighting Hunger in the Heartland

June 3, 2022 - From Farm to Food Bank: Q&A with The Good Acre

May 26, 2022 - Spotlighting Senior Hunger in Minnesota

May 19, 2022 - Meet the Team Helping to Keep Food Distributions Safe and Accessible!

May 18, 2022 - Why Schools Across Minnesota Are Essential to Ending Child Hunger

May 10, 2022 - Our Team is Varied, Our Team is Strong: Get to Know the Second Harvest Heartland Staff

May 9, 2022 - 4 Reasons Why People Need Food Assistance This Spring and Summer  

May 3, 2022 - Saint Paul Public Schools Celebrates their School Lunch Heroes Year Round

May 3, 2022 - Today’s Harvest Opens Second Location

May 2, 2022 - Minnesota Central Kitchen Offers Halal Meals to Muslim Communities During Ramadan and Beyond

April 27, 2022 - Volunteer Spotlight: Prime Digital Academy Student Cohort

April 21, 2022 - Get to Know Some of Second Harvest Heartland’s Volunteers

April 18, 2022 - Minnesota Central Kitchen is Creating Chef and Neighborhood Powered Meals

April 13, 2022 - How Two Multitasking Volunteers Are Helping End Hunger

April 7, 2022 - Volunteers Bring More Meals and More Heart to Second Harvest Heartland

April 5, 2022 - A SNAP-For-Seniors Q&A

April 1, 2022 - Help Fill Plates and Change Lives During 24-Hour Harvest!

March 25, 2022 - Join Us in Supporting Food Shelves During the FoodShare Campaign

March 22, 2022 - Food Sourcing Q&A with Sourcing and Demand Planning Director Julie Vanhove

March 18, 2022 - In the Right Place at a Difficult Time

March 14, 2022 - The Power of a Prepared Meal

March 2, 2022 - Making Hunger-Free Schools a Reality in Minnesota

February 24, 2022 - The Critical Addition to the Hunger Fight: Prepared Meals

February 21, 2022 - Food Shelf Fresh: Partnering with Local Farmers and Producers

February 14, 2022 - Using Data to Fight Hunger with Boston Consulting Group

February 10, 2022 - FOODRx and SNAP: Increasing Nutrition Access

January 21, 2022 - Expanding Our Reach, Strengthening Our Connections

January 20, 2022 - How Inflation Impacts the Hunger Relief System and How You Can Help

January 12, 2022 - So Much More Than a Food Shelf: CROSS Services in Rogers, MN

December 29, 2021 - Making a Difference Year-Round with Monthly Giving

December 14, 2021 - 4 Reasons Why Many Minnesotans Are Facing Hunger This Winter

November 24, 2021 - The MNbenefits Application is a Game-Changer for Minnesota Families

November 10, 2021 - From St. James to Robbinsdale, Our School Partners Deliver for Kids and Families

November 4, 2021 - Community Solutions: Partnering to End Hunger at the Local Level

October 27, 2021 - VEAP is Working to End Food Insecurity in the Southern Suburbs

October 21, 2021 - The Stepnick Family is Stepping Out to End Hunger This November

October 20, 2021 - Making the Hunger Relief System Work for Seniors across Minnesota

October 13, 2021 - 75 Years of Improving and Expanding School Lunches to Keep Kids Fed

October 7 , 2021 - Addressing the Racial Hunger Divide

September 30, 2021 - Enabling Choice Fosters Equity and Identity While Reducing Food Waste

September 23, 2021 - More Than a Meal: The Application for Educational Benefits

September 10, 2021 - Hope Youth Center and Pham’s Rice Bowl Are Caring for Community Kids at Midtown Global Market

September 9, 2021 - The Du Nord Foundation Community Market and Eat for Equity Team Up to Nourish South Minneapolis Neighbors

August 23, 2021 - The Good Acre is Building Equity by Supporting Farmers and Eaters

August 16, 2021 - I believe in the power of food.

August 12, 2021 - More Than a Meal: The Summer Food Service Program

July 27, 2021 - Thank You, Donors! Donor Appreciation Week, August 2-8

July 26, 2021 - Staying Cool This Summer with Our New Temperature-Controlled Clean Room

July 21, 2021 - 4 Reasons Why People Need Food Assistance Right Now

July 13, 2021 - A New Partnership Aims to More Fully Address Hunger in Rural Western Wisconsin

June 28, 2021 - Monthly Giving: A Lifeline For Neighbors Facing Hunger

June 25, 2021 - Midwest Dairy Makes Milk More Accessible

June 15, 2021 - We’re proud to announce that we have been awarded recertification as a Service Enterprise organization

June 14, 2021 - Resilience Through Food: The Celebration of Juneteenth

June 3, 2021 - Minnetonka High School Students Destigmatize SNAP

May 24, 2021 - This Spring, Hairnets Are In and Contaminants Are Out

May 7, 2021 - Girls Scouts Bring Joy to the Hunger Fight

May 5, 2021 - Partnering to Address Child Hunger in the Suburbs

April 29, 2021 - Join Us for Second Harvest Heartland’s First-Ever 24-Hour Harvest Giving Day on May 20

April 23, 2021 - Ready for the Road to Recovery

April 23, 2021 - Pro Bono Volunteers Help Advance Food Distribution Equity

April 16, 2021 - Dana and Mike Want YOU to Join Them as Volunteers

April 14, 2021 - Our Assessment of the American Rescue Plan Act

April 14, 2021 - A Skeptical Donor Finds Value in Charitable Gift Annuities

April 8, 2021 - The Fanucci Family: Channeling Grief Into Some “Outrageous Good”

April 6, 2021 - Two Jerries are Better than One

March 30, 2021 - Our Volunteers Are Finding Meaning, Building Skills, Strengthening Relationships and Helping Our Community

March 29, 2021 - The Crawford Family

March 29, 2021 - Meeting the Moment

March 29, 2021 - The Crisis that Changed Us

March 29, 2021 - Fueling the Work

March 29, 2021 - Delivering Peace of Mind

March 29, 2021 - Thank You to Our Health Care Provider Hunger Fighters

March 25, 2021 - Expert Spotlight: Rebecca Mino, Manager of Applied Research and Policy

March 3, 2021 - Expert Spotlight: FOODRx Program Manager and Registered Dietitian Jana Martin

February 26, 2021 - Northside Partners for Food Delivery Expands to 300 Families

February 15, 2021 - Doubling Down: Giving Today and Well into the Future

February 1, 2021 - What You Need to Know About Federal Policy Changes

January 28, 2021 - The Power of Pro Bono Volunteers

January 19, 2021 - What Role Do Farmers Play in Fighting Hunger?

January 19, 2021 - How Does a Trade War Impact a Food Bank?

January 14, 2021 - What Does it Mean to Rescue Food?

January 12, 2021 - Why Does a Food Bank Focus on School Meals?

January 8, 2021 - Welcome Sook Jin Ong, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

January 5, 2021 - What Makes SNAP So Great?

January 4, 2021 - Resolve to Make a Difference through Monthly Giving

December 22, 2020 - December Reflections: Advocacy and Public Policy

December 21, 2020 - Using Data to Drive the Hunger Fight

December 21, 2020 - Evolving Corporate Partnerships in Times of Crisis

December 18, 2020 - December Reflections: SNAP Outreach

December 16, 2020 - December Reflections: Transportation

December 15, 2020 - Rent Eats First: The Intersection of Hunger and Housing

December 14, 2020 - December Reflections: Child Hunger

December 11, 2020 - December Reflections: Food Bank Operations

December 8, 2020 - Meeting with Our Congressional Delegation

December 8, 2020 - December Reflections: Volunteer Services

December 4, 2020 - Our Stories of Giving and Receiving Help

November 25, 2020 - Celebrating Collaboration: Minnesota Central Kitchen

November 24, 2020 - A Thanksgiving Like No Other

November 11, 2020 - Surging Food Insecurity and a Deepening Hunger Divide

November 9, 2020 - When Working a Full-time Job Can’t Cut It

October 30, 2020 - Food Shelf Adaptations and Innovations in a Pandemic

October 16, 2020 - “I’m Looking Forward to Not Going Back to Normal”

October 12, 2020 - A Life—and End of Life Plan—Defined by Service

October 8, 2020 - The Seriousness of Senior Hunger

October 7, 2020 - Many Hearts, One Mission

September 18, 2020 - The Need for Prepared Meals in the Fight to End Hunger

September 18, 2020 - Make Your Plan to Vote to End Hunger This Fall

September 9, 2020 - Y’all, I Cooked That!

September 4, 2020 - Minnesota Central Kitchen Aims to Distribute One Million Prepared Meals

September 3, 2020 - Federal SNAP Program More Important Than Ever In Fight to Stop Hunger During the Coronavirus Pandemic

September 2, 2020 - One Woman’s Journey from Food Shelf Client to Coordinator

September 2, 2020 - Update to the Community: Food Resources

August 26, 2020 - Fill the Fridge, Minnesota: A SNAP FAQ

August 12, 2020 - Donor Spotlight: Harmony and Ava (H+A Dog Walking)

August 5, 2020 - Thank You, Donors!

August 4, 2020 - Update to the Community: Hunger and Health

July 31, 2020 - Minnesota Central Kitchen Partner Spotlight: The Sioux Chef

July 29, 2020 - Preparing for the Surge in Hunger

July 20, 2020 - Combating Child Hunger in a COVID-era Summer

July 6, 2020 - Why Monthly Giving Matters, Especially Now

June 26, 2020 - P-EBT Helps Fill the Gap of School Breakfast and Lunch During COVID-19

June 24, 2020 - New Study Predicts Historic Surge in Hunger

June 16, 2020 - Joan’s Plans Ensure Her Neighbors are Fed Long After She’s Gone

June 8, 2020 - Coming Together to Provide Food for Powderhorn Park Residents

May 26, 2020 - Breaking New Ground: Farmers are Crucial Hunger Fighters in the COVID-19 Era

May 19, 2020 - Minnesota Central Kitchen Teams Up with Surly Brewing Co. to Provide More Meals

May 11, 2020 - Produce Delivered to Every Corner of the County

May 8, 2020 - A Network Rises to the Food Rescue Challenge Amidst COVID-19

May 7, 2020 - Hear From Our Hunger-fighters on the Frontlines

May 5, 2020 - Four Ways We’ve Adjusted to Respond to COVID-19

May 1, 2020 - #GiveAtHomeMN—Minnesotans come together to support nonprofits impacted by COVID-19

April 28, 2020 - A Special Thank You to Our Volunteers

April 24, 2020 - Business Not as Usual: Food Production and Distribution in a Pandemic

April 22, 2020 - Rescuing Food—A Sustainable Way to Solve Hunger

April 20, 2020 - From Receiving Food-assistance to the Frontlines of Fighting Hunger

April 17, 2020 - Coming Together to Feed More Minnesotans: The Story Behind Minnesota Central Kitchen

April 16, 2020 - A Father’s Philanthropic Legacy Helps Feed Minnesotans

April 13, 2020 - Q & A with Hunger-fighter Dave Henseler

April 10, 2020 - Packing Up Produce for the Lower Sioux Community

April 6, 2020 - Senior Hunger in Rural Minnesota

April 1, 2020 - Thank you, Volunteers!

Mach 31, 2020 - United In Hunger Relief

March 27, 2020 - Get Help Finding Food - We Have the Resources You Need!

March 17, 2020 - Introducing: Minnesota Central Kitchen

March 6, 2020 - High School Students Reflect on the Problem of Hunger

March 5, 2020 - Know the Signs of Child Hunger

March 2, 2020 - Meet the Harvest Crew

February 28, 2020 - The Secret to Setting Kids Up for Success?

February 28, 2020 - Celebrate the Most Important Meal of the Day

February 11, 2020 - Doing the Work They Love to Help Feed Our Hungry Neighbors

February 6, 2020 - With Estate Gift, Couple Ensures Everyone has a Place at the Table

January 31, 2020 - Longtime Volunteer Memorialized with Food and Fund Drive

January 30, 2020 - A Warm Meal = A Fresh Start for Terrence

January 24, 2020 - Peanut Butter: The Perfect Shelf-stable Protein

January 21, 2020 - Future Hunger Fighters: Minnetonka High School Students Fight Stigma

January 21, 2020 - Partners in Life, Work and Fighting Hunger

January 3, 2020 - Hunger Relief By the Numbers 2019