Providing Urgently Needed Meals Around the Clock — Our Response to Coronavirus

Watch a weekly news update on the local need for food and our community’s combined response.

March 31, 2020 - VIDEO Community Progress Report

trunkOur action team continues to monitor the evolving updates and impacts of COVID-19 (coronavirus). This is a fluid situation and our understanding of this virus and its impact is changing by the hour. 

We are leveraging information and recommendations from national health and emergency response organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as Minnesota state agencies (including the Minnesota Department of Health, Department of Employment and Economic Development, and the Department of Public Safety) to guide our response and keep our community safe and informed.

We are committed to protecting the health and wellbeing of our employees, volunteers, partners and the communities we serve, as we know hunger doesn’t take a break while we deal with the coronavirus. In fact, the demand for emergency food assistance is higher than ever. Second Harvest Heartland is working to respond to a need for meals that has more than doubled since the COVID-19 outbreak began.

Our COVID-19 Plan

  • Emergency food boxes. Second Harvest Heartland is providing emergency food boxes so those experiencing hunger can access urgently needed meals while reducing their risk of exposure.  Tens of thousands of boxes have been shipped to food shelf partners so far. We have committed to 200,000 boxes and components over several months, and are working to provide prepackaged produce in addition to distribution of regular foods. 
  • Prepared meals from Minnesota Central Kitchen (MCK). We have joined forces with local caterers and restaurateurs to distribute thousands of meals per day in partnership with Loaves and Fishes—a free public dining program with 30+ locations. More MCK sites are coming soon.Learn more.
  • Access to SNAP (food stamps). We’re working to ensure that everyone who is eligible for these benefits can access them. The number of people requesting SNAP help has more than doubled since the outbreak began. Visit to learn more about our SNAP outreach work.
  • Extra measures to keep our teams and our food safe. Our already rigorous cleaning routine has been stepped up and volunteer shifts are temporarily cancelled.
  • Partnering with elected officials. We are a critical part of regionwide response, and we are working to ensure every member of our community is prepared for and well fed during the outbreak. 

Support Our Efforts

boxWe are all concerned about staying safe and reducing our exposure to illness. But for some of our neighbors, a lack of resources means they can’t afford to stock up on food. Missing work means missing meals for their family. 

  • Donate now at to fund an emergency food box today. 
  • Spread the word — restaurants and food distributors can donate food that would otherwise go to waste as kitchens are idle. Learn more.
  • Watch for more updates as situations change.

We depend on you. We are committed to meeting the need for meals and we need your help to help fill every cupboard. It’s time to pull together to weather this tough time.

Take action now. Donate Volunteer Participate