Strengthening the Hunger Relief System

BoyWithOrangeEnding hunger can only be done when we work together. Second Harvest Heartland works in partnership with nearly 1,000 food shelf, food pantry and other meal program partners.

Inviting new partners into the conversation to close the missing meal gap

Second Harvest Heartland and its partners make a powerful difference for families who are struggling, but there is more work to do before we can say no one around us worries about food.

We are creating new partnerships with schools, hospitals and clinics and advocating for programs and policies that support the people they serve.

Sharing our expertise in finding and collecting agricultural surplus to bring more fresh food into the emergency food network

The demand for fresh food – especially fruits and vegetables – has never been greater. To meet this need, Second Harvest Heartland has worked with local growers and farmers to harvest agricultural surplus – edible crops that would otherwise go unused or plowed back into the ground. We’ve worked with growers to get millions of pounds of sweet corn distributed to hungry people in our region, as well as more than 20 different kinds of produce ranging from apples to zucchini.

fresh carrots

The Produce Strategy Institute (PSI)

The PSI is a peer-learning initiative that that leverages Second Harvest Heartland's growing expertise in locally sourcing and distributing surplus agricultural products. Second Harvest Heartland is leading efforts on a national scale within the Feeding America network. Our priority areas include::

  1. Share best practices, learn and teach successful produce capture techniques that can be applied to member food banks across the network
  2. Identify and integrate business-based solutions into produce rescue
  3. Facilitate the expansion of produce rescue innovation

Using data to illuminate issues and drive change

We partner with other local hunger relief organizations as well as nationally recognized research and consulting leaders to dig deep into research about hunger. The Boston Consulting Group and Hunger-Free Minnesota provides critical data that identifies the level of food insecurity in neighborhoods at the census tract level. This data is being used to inform not only conversations about hunger on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis, but also to help develop new programs and outreach methods in high-need areas identified by the data.

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