Hunger in America

Feeding America conducts its Hunger in America study every four years. The 2014 Hunger in America study includes interviews nationwide with more than 60,000 clients and 320,000 partner agencies, across 196 food banks. This study provides a comprehensive demographic profile of the people who receive assistance from Feeding America’s network of food banks and the economic and personal circumstances of their households. The study helps Second Harvest Heartland develop the best programs and approaches to serve the needs of families, children and seniors who experience the stress of hunger.

Key take-aways about the Second Harvest Heartland service area:

Hunger in America 2014

Hunger in America is a national survey done every four years by Feeding America and its member food banks, to a) document the critical role food banks and their food shelf and other agency partners play in supporting those who are hungry and b) document the number and characteristics of clients who seek help from the charitable food network.

The Second Harvest Heartland Service Area

Second Harvest Heartland serves 59 counties in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

We serve about
532,000people each year.

more than 33% are children
0–18 years old

Icon Children

10%are seniors 60+

Icon Seniors

Though many clients are searching for work and/or working towards an education, they still experience challenges with underemployment, limited income and poor health.


Icon Employment

68%of households have a member who worked for pay in the past year.


Icon Health

35%of client households have a member with diabetes.

44%of client households have member with high blood pressure.


Icon Military

18%of households have at least one member who is a veteran or actively deployed.


Icon Education

36%have some post-high school education.


Icon Income
  • reported no income

  • income of $20,000 or less

  • income of $20,001 to $30,000

  • income of $30,000+

Many hungry clients had to make these tough decisions at least once in the past year:

Icon House

63%choose housing.

Icon Transportation

71%choose transportation/gas.

Icon Stethoscope

67%choose medical care/medicine.

Icon Utilities

71%choose utilities.

vs.Icon Place Setting

They choose coping skills to help manage their hunger.

Icon Unhealthy Food

81%‚Äčchose inexpensive, unhealthy foods.

Icon Hands

52%received help from family or friends.

Icon Calculator

42%pawned or sold property.

Icon Water Pitcher

33%watered down food or drinks.

Second Harvest Heartland Food Changes EverythingSecond Harvest Heartland is one of the nation’s largest, most efficient and most innovative food banks. In 2015, we delivered food for more than 80 million meals to nearly 1,000 food shelves, pantries and other agency partner programs serving 59 counties in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Second Harvest Heartland helps relieve hunger not only by sourcing, warehousing and distributing food, but through data-driven thought leadership and community partnerships that help improve the region’s larger hunger relief system. For more information, visit or call 651.484.5117.

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