Hunger Heroes: Partners making a transformational impact
Second Harvest Heartland is passionate in our belief that we can end hunger, but we cannot do it alone. Through the Hunger Hero awards, we recognize seven partners for their extraordinary efforts, helping our hungry neighbors. We’re pleased to announce the 2018 recipients of Second Harvest Heartland's annual Hunger Hero awards.
By providing donations of food, volunteer hours, financial support, innovative thought leadership and helping us build awareness of the issue of hunger, our partners make a transformational impact on our mission to end hunger.
Innovation: The Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
Partner who created an innovative way to develop a new and sustainable approach to hunger relief
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) partnered with Second Harvest Heartland to develop a request for $18 million in general obligation bonding from the State of Minnesota to invest in facility expansion. With crucial hunger relief programs such as SNAP (formerly food stamps) facing potentially devastating budget cuts, BCG’s Monte Carlo research study strengthened organizational awareness about the intersectionality of hunger and health care by highlighting the critical importance of publicly supported medical assistance for food insecure Minnesotans. A passionate partner in ending hunger, BCG enhanced Second Harvest Heartland’s ability to advocate effectively with key state policy makers and aids in efforts to tackle the meal gap.
Awareness: Deschutes Brewery
Partner generating outstanding visibility in raising the awareness of hunger
An employee-owned, community-focused company, Deschutes Brewery created the innovative Street Pub event to reach new communities, provide 100% of the event’s profits to those communities and help teach beneficiaries how to host an alcohol-related, public facing event. To date, Deschutes Brewery has helped raise nearly $200,000 for hunger relief in our service area and helped introduced a new, untapped audience to Second Harvest Heartland. Deschutes Brewery has expanded their local impact by establishing a new event called “World’s Biggest Brunch,” which will help Second Harvest Heartland feed even more hungry neighbors.
Food: Jennie-O Turkey Store
Commercial food partner providing outstanding food donation support
Jennie-O Turkey Store, based in Willmar, MN, is an industry-leading processer and marketer of traditional and value-added turkey products for Retail, Foodservice and Deli markets. A dedicated partner for nearly a decade, Jennie-O Turkey Store provides a consistent supply of highly desirable protein to our hunger relief network. In 2017, they were in the top tier of food donors and continue to be one of the most reliable contributors we have the pleasure to work with. We are grateful for their vital partnership in feeding our hungry neighbors.
Volunteer: Medtronic Foundation
Partner with integral growth in employee volunteerism
Medtronic Foundation recognizes the important connection between hunger and health, and they provide Second Harvest Heartland with vital support for the health of our community. In 2017, Medtronic employees contributed 690 hours of their time to help fight hunger, which is a 295% increase over the previous year. Nearly 300 Medtronic employees shared their time and talents with Second Harvest Heartland in a variety of ways across the metro. They volunteered at both our Golden Valley and Maplewood warehouses, and at a Fresh Produce Distribution in St. Paul. Medtronic volunteers sorted food sent to partner agencies, packed grocery boxes for seniors, and put fresh food in the hands of our hungry neighbors.
Agency Partner: Ralph Reeder Food Shelf – Mounds View Public Schools
A food shelf, food pantry or meal program that significantly increased their produce engagement and increased healthy food access
Ralph Reeder Food Shelf – Mounds View Public Schools is a leader in the hunger relief network and a longtime partner of Second Harvest Heartland. Since recently expanding their partnership with Second Harvest Heartland’s School Pantry/Food + You program, Ralph Reeder has increased their engagement in both retail food rescue and produce food streams. Ralph Reeder’s innovative approach to hunger relief has increased healthy food access for their clients and community members through “Mobile Markets” in high-need neighborhoods, “Free Farmer’s Markets” fresh produce distributions, and by expanding service hours so clients can visit the food shelf on a weekly basis for produce. Last year, Ralph Reeder nearly tripled the amount of produce that they accessed with Second Harvest Heartland’s help and increased their total number of clients served.
Retail Food Rescue: Sam’s Club
Retail partner with outstanding contribution to the rescue of food
Sam’s Club has long been an essential contributor of meat, deli, and bakery donations to Second Harvest Heartland’s Retail Food Rescue Program. In 2017, Sam’s Club authorized the donation of produce items, providing Second Harvest Heartland’s network of partners a wide variety of fresh foods. Produce is transforming food shelves and meal programs, providing our neighbors greater access to fresh, seasonal, and balanced meals. The large pack sizes retailed at Sam’s Club are especially crucial to large families – whether shopping at Sam’s Club or accessing the products through local agency partners. By bringing produce to the table, Sam’s Club achieved the greatest increase in Retail Food Rescue donations in the last fiscal year, helping Second Harvest Heartland and our agency partners provide more than 2.5 million meals.
Financial: Voya Financial
Partner with the leading financial impact on hunger relief programs
Through a strong workplace giving campaign and company match, Voya Financial had the largest growth – 57 percent – in financial donations to Second Harvest Heartland in 2017. As we work to explore another outlet for reaching our hungry neighbors through our work around hunger and health, Voya’s commitment to our work is critical. A unique aspect of our partnership with Voya is a new fundraising program where the company’s IT team refurbishes old computers, sells them to their employees and generates a donation to Second Harvest Heartland.