Prepared MCK meals set on table

WHAT WE DO

There is more than enough food to feed everyone. Through innovation, advocacy and our extensive partner network, we connect our hungry neighbors to the full resources of our community.

HOW WE FUEL

The Hunger Relief Network

We provide 86% of the food that our agency partners provide to your neighbors—working families, children, seniors and college students.

Illustration of what we do
  • We operate like a wholesaler and collect donated and rescued foods in large quantities, then pack and distribute orders from our 233,000 square-foot Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, facility.
  • We collaborate with hundreds of hunger relief partners, from neighborhood food shelves and faith-based organizations to schools and community centers. Working together, we deliver requested foods to small towns and big cities across our region.
  • When we see a need, we find effective ways to meet it. Our scale, efficiency and collaborative approach helps us make an impact, while responding with agility and compassion. Through programming and operations, we're leaders where food can be a solution.
  • At the state and federal levels, we champion the anti-hunger policies that reduce food insecurity and help our hungry neighbors access the healthy food they need to thrive. We work together, mobilize support and use our voices to make change.
Food shelf coordinator Althea Lankford at Hallie Q. Brown

PARTNERS & PROGRAMS

Connecting the Community

Our work goes far beyond food rescue, sourcing and distribution. Every day, we collaborate with area food shelves, hunger relief agencies and other partners to meaningfully address and end hunger.

Uniting Our Voices to Foster Progress

Hunger relief requires commitment, resources and action on all fronts. That's why we advocate for effective programs and policies that efficiently get food and nutrition resources to those who need it most.

A hand reaches into apples

MOST FOOD IS FRESH

Did You Know?

As we develop new and more efficient ways to source and distribute food, the food that we supply is increasingly fresh. Nearly two-thirds of the food we distributed last year was fresh including meats, produce, bakery and dairy. More than one-third of the
Two people smiling, standing and holding a paper grocery bag

Feeding Our Hungry Neighbors

Hunger Relief In Action

“We shop here once or twice a month, during the times we need it. Cereal is always nice. Fresh bread and bagels. I like getting a beef or pork roast. You add some carrots or onions to it, make it a fun meal.”
- Kevin Littlefield from Rosemount, Minnesota

Frequently Asked Questions

Hunger relief refers to organizations coming together to make no-cost food available to people who might need help keeping their fridges full. We believe that no one should go hungry or struggle with food insecurity, especially when there is more than enough food for all. As a food bank, we work with national, regional, and local organizations to get food to the individuals and families who need it.

Food banks like Second Harvest Heartland play a critical role in the emergency food chain and hunger relief efforts. We operate as “food wholesalers” who source large quantities of healthy, nutritious food from retailers, manufacturers, distributors, farmers, producers and others, then repackage it into smaller quantities that community food shelves and our hungry neighbors can use. For example, our volunteers help turn a 2,000-pound bag of cereal into hundreds of family-sized boxes. By sourcing and distributing food efficiently, we amplify our reach and can help more people.

Food banks like Second Harvest Heartland support our hungry neighbors in numerous ways, wherever we believe food can be the solution to ending hunger. That includes efficiently and cost-effectively rescuing, purchasing and distributing large quantities of food to local food shelves; creating innovative programs that reduce food insecurity and help end hunger for Minnesota and Wisconsin residents; providing volunteer opportunities; and advocating for policies and programs that make lasting change.

As a member of the Feeding America network of food banks, and one of the largest and most efficient hunger-relief organizations in the nation, we have the size and scale to distribute food across much of Minnesota and Wisconsin. We currently support a 59-county service area and work with nearly 1,000 partner programs.

Feeding America is a nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs that provides food and services to people each year. Feeding America works to help bring healthy, nutritious food to regional food banks (including Second Harvest Heartland) where they can direct it to community partners and hungry neighbors.