Minnesota Central Kitchen, an initiative of Second Harvest Heartland
Minnesota Central Kitchen brings together restaurants, caterers, and hunger-fighting organizations to tackle hunger and service-sector layoffs brought on by the pandemic. We provide prepared meals to anyone to respond to the surge in hunger and see communities through recovery.
How Minnesota Central Kitchen Works
Our food service, restaurant and catering partners provide the kitchen space, employees, supplies and ingredients to supplement the donations from the MealConnect platform, an app that allows area institutions a medium to donate large-scale food items to Minnesota Central Kitchen. Currently, more than 60% of our meals are prepared with rescued food.
Re-employment Meals are then prepared by expert culinary teams, including founding kitchen Chowgirls Catering, Appetite for Change’s Breaking Bread Café and Station 81, Community Bridge, Eat For Equity, Eurest Dining at Boston Scientific, Kane’s Catering, Mintahoe Catering & Events, Sodexo, The Sioux Chef, and The Wedge Table.
Then, a distribution network coordinated by Second Harvest Heartland delivers these beautiful and nutritious meals to community sites throughout the region, led by Loaves & Fishes with Appetite For Change, East Side Neighborhood Services, InvolveMN, Minneapolis Community & Technical College, Roseville Area Schools, Safe Zone and The Sanneh Foundation.
Access Prepared Meals
Minnesota Central Kitchen provides free meals to anyone. To find a meal distribution site near you, search the yellow map markers on the Google Map above or visit this webpage. Please note dates and times of meal availability, as they vary by location. Additional emergency and longer-term food resource information can be found on our resources page.
Minnesota Central Kitchen Founders, Partners and Donors
Minnesota Central Kitchen is led by Second Harvest Heartland, founding partners Chowgirls Catering and Loaves & Fishes, hard-working production kitchens and a growing number of restaurants, food service providers and supporters.
This work wouldn’t be possible without financial and in-kind support from our very generous donors, including the Cargill Foundation, General Mills Foundation, Medtronic Foundation, Cloverfields Foundation, Pohlad Family Foundation, Humana Foundation, Boston Scientific, ReFED, The Good Acre, UnitedHealth Group, KSTP, Bank of America, and more than 2,000 individual donors.
- Restaurants and businesses interested in becoming a kitchen partner site should submit their information to Emily Paul, Minnesota Central Kitchen executive director
- Commercial kitchens with food to donate can submit information via MealConnect
- Donations of non-food items, like cleaning supplies, gloves, pans and plastic wrap, can be coordinated by contacting email@example.com
- Anyone who is able to donate financially can do so here
Recent media coverage and blog posts charting the evolution of Minnesota Central Kitchen:
- 12/21/20 ‘We still care.’ Minnesota’s food industry shifts gears to feed the most vulnerable
- 10/21/20 Minnesota Central Kitchen, LEAFF, and the Great Minnesota Pandemic Agriculture Pivot
- 9/4/2020 Minnesota Central Kitchen on track to distribute 1 million prepared meals
- 6/17/2020 The Sioux Chef Joins Minnesota Central Kitchen to Fight New Twin Cities Food Deserts
- 5/19/2020 Minnesota Central Kitchen teams up with Surly Brewing Co. to provide more meals
- 4/17/2020 Coming together to feed more Minnesotans: The story behind Minnesota Central Kitchen
- 4/10/2020 Minnesota Central Kitchen gives restaurant workers jobs while feeding those who are hungry
- 3/19/2020 Minnesota's Central Kitchen forms to provide meals for those in need
- 3/19/2020 Minnesota Central Kitchen: Twin Cities Live
- 3/18/2020 5 Eyewitness News teams up with Minnesota Central Kitchen
- 3/18/2020 Minnesota restaurants are closed, but their cooks are still feeding those in need
- 3/18/2020 Minnesota’s Central Kitchen: Chefs, Second Harvest Heartland collab to combat hunger
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