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 2019 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.
Volunteer: American Family Insurance
Partner with integral growth in employee volunteerism
American Family Insurance has been protecting dreams for more than 90 years, and recognizes the right support can make all the difference. In 2018, American Family’s support came in a big way with their September “One Saturday to Dream Fearlessly” volunteer day at our Brooklyn Park facility. Over 350 AmFam agents, corporate employees, clients and family members volunteered repacking over 23,000 pounds of rice and potatoes. After each shift they celebrated with food trucks, music, games and comradery. As one volunteer put it, “We know it is just one Saturday, but it is going to have a significant impact on someone else’s life.” Through this event and other employee volunteer groups, American Family contributed 792 hours of time to make a difference in the fight to end hunger. They’ve already booked their One Saturday event for 2019, and we are excited to have them back in September as one of the first volunteer groups in our newly renovated volunteer center. Congratulations on being our Volunteer Hunger Hero winner!
Employee Giving: General Mills
Partner with leading workplace giving support
This year we are pleased to introduce a new Hunger Hero award to the corporate partner whose employees have gone above and beyond through Employee Giving. General Mills partners with its employees to strengthen hometown communities, and it couldn’t be more evident than through the support their employees provide to Second Harvest Heartland year over year. We are proud to present this award to the employees of General Mills for their remarkable support through their 2018 annual food & fund drive which raised over $107,400 through generous gifts, silent auction and raffle donations, and other fun activities such as a happy hour brewery night and bag toss tournament. This employee-led fundraiser exemplifies the power employees have to make a significant impact on hunger in their local community.
Agency Partner: Gethsemane Lutheran Church - The Camden Promise
A food pantry that significantly increased healthy food access and produce engagement
Gethsemane Lutheran Church is a leader in the hunger relief network and a strong and innovative partner of Second Harvest Heartland. During the summer of 2018, The Camden Promise expanded upon their food shelf and food rescue programming to include twice-monthly community block parties to distribute fresh produce and provide a fun, outdoor meal. These events were proceeded by “Peace Walks” designed to acknowledge and counter the violence that had recently occurred in the neighborhood, and were well attended. The Camden Promise hosts food rescue distributions year-round several times each week, and community members come together to organize and share in the abundance. Gethsemane Lutheran Church is unique in their approach to community organizing, and have worked to place food at the center of their neighborhood network-building.
Partner generating outstanding visibility in raising the awareness of hunger
GiveMN created “Give to the Max Day” ten years ago and has grown it to one of the largest state-wide giving days in the nation. GiveMN seeks to support all Minnesota non-profits, and in 2018 it supported 5,478 organizations in raising $21,056,143! Since GiveMN.org was launched, Minnesota nonprofits have raised more than $200 million from generous donors.
While GiveMN seeks to support all non-profits in Minnesota, they recognize SHH’s importance as a large force-for-good in Minnesota, and have partnered in media outreach and by providing the “Leaderboards” and prizes in which Second Harvest Heartland has participated. Since the inception of Give to the Max Day, SHH has raised over $1.6 mil online plus significant matching gifts, and acquired over 2,000 new donors. Plus, SHH has been the #1 fundraising organization on GTMD for the last 3 years running, affording us excellent visibility and credibility in the community. Thank you, GiveMN, for all you do to support philanthropy in Minnesota, and our hungry neighbors.
Financial: Heartbeat for Hunger
Partner with the leading financial impact on hunger relief programs
Heartbeat for Hunger is an annual concert featuring local bands and local breweries, and designed to attract a new generation of philanthropists, create awareness of the issue of hunger in our community and expose them to Second Harvest Heartland and their efforts to eradicate hunger. The inaugural Heartbeat for Hunger concert was held in 2016. In both the next two years, the event sold out quickly and revenue was more than double the inaugural year. Something that is unique about the partnership is that the event was formed by members of the committee that formed the Vintner Ball years ago... a very successful wine tasting event that has raised over two million dollars for Second Harvest Heartland. The group behind Heartbeat for Hunger wanted to do more, and they set out to create a new and different type of event that would appeal to a younger audience. Thank you all so much for all you do!
Innovation: North Memorial Health and North Collaborative Care
Commercial food partner providing outstanding food donation support
Starting in 2018, North Memorial Health partnered with Second Harvest Heartland to address food insecurity through a system wide approach as part of the Integrated Health Partnership (IHP) initiative with the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Innovations through this partnership include creating a greater connection between clinic staff and patients by tying in care coordinators and registered dietitians as well as partnering with medical transportation staff from North Memorial who volunteer their time to deliver FOODRx boxes to those with limited mobility. The FOODRx team has truly enjoyed working with a passionate and innovative group of individuals to help improve the health of those facing food insecurity.
Retail Food Rescue: Trader Joe’s
Retail partner with outstanding contribution to the rescue of food
Trader Joe’s is still new to the Food Rescue scene but has quickly proven their commitment to helping end hunger. In the last fiscal year, Trader Joe’s achieved the greatest increase in Retail Food Rescue donations, with an increase of 48% in food donated to hunger-relief organizations in the communities they serve. By participating in Retail Food Rescue and donating not only shelf stable goods but also produce and meat, which are often the costliest items in the grocery store, they are giving their neighbors increased access to fresh, seasonal, and balanced meals.