Minnesota Central Kitchen
Minnesota Central Kitchen is an initiative of Second Harvest Heartland, harnessing the power of the food bank to bring nutritious, prepared meals to communities facing the biggest meals gap.
We were born in the early days of the pandemic to rescue food, re-employ furloughed workers, and get urgently needed meals to folks facing hunger. Today, through a robust community network of more than 100 partners, we’re ensuring ready-to-eat meals are available in communities and to families who need it most.
How it Works
Our kitchen partners order and receive meal ingredients from Second Harvest Heartland’s food bank supply chain, 60 percent of which are rescued from otherwise going to waste. Their expert culinary teams transform ingredients into individual and family-style meals, with special effort placed on serving culturally connected meals made by and for communities of color. A network of trusted partners then brings meals to dozens of sites across our region for individuals and families to enjoy. Most meals are served cold to be reheated at home, while some are served warm and ready to eat. Minnesota Central Kitchen is nourishing our community through prepared meals.
The Power of a Prepared Meal
Nothing quite compares to having dinner made for you, especially when you might face barriers to making your own meal. That’s what makes Minnesota Central Kitchen so important. Prepared meals make nutritious, made-with-care food more accessible to more people.
In the News
- 5/21/2021 Culinary Activism Brings Communities Together
- 3/26/2021 Twin Cities restaurants fight food insecurity – even as their industry struggles
- 12/21/20 ‘We still care.’ Minnesota’s food industry shifts gears to feed the most vulnerable
- 9/4/2020 Minnesota Central Kitchen on track to distribute 1 million prepared meals
- 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
- 3/18/2020 Minnesota restaurants are closed, but their cooks are still feeding those in need
Current and Past Partners
Minnesotan Central Kitchen is an initiative of Second Harvest Heartland, created by founding partners Chowgirls Catering and Loaves & Fishes. Since inception, we’ve welcomed a number of kitchen and catering partners, including Afro Deli, Appetite For Change, Boston Scientific, Campus Club, Cargill, Chowgirls Catering, Community Bridge, Compass Group, Create Catering, Eat for Equity, Eurest Dining, Fhima’s Minneapolis, InvolveMN, Kane’s Catering, Mintahoe Catering, Optum, Pham’s Rice Bowl, The Sioux Chef and Indigenous Food Lab, Surly Brewing Company, St. Paul College Culinary Arts, and The Wedge Table.
Our community partner distribution network has included Avivo, Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf, Eastside Neighborhood Services, HOPE Youth Center, House of Refuge, Loaves & Fishes, InvolveMN, M Health Fairview, Mankato State University, Minneapolis College, The Drive Maplewood, Northside Achievement Zone, Normandale College, Roseville Area Schools, Robbinsdale Area Public Schools, Safe Zone, The Sanneh Foundation, Salvation Army St. Cloud, St. James and Sleepy Eye School Districts, Nutritious U at the University of Minnesota, West Bank Development Corporation, and many more.
Our work would not be possible without support from thousands of individual donors and the support of partners like the Cargill Foundation, General Mills Foundation, Medtronic Foundation, Cloverfields Foundation, Pohlad Family Foundation, Humana Foundation, Boston Scientific, ReFED, The Good Acre, United Health Group, KSTP, Bank of America and more.
Food Assistance Resources
Minnesota Central Kitchen meals are provided at no cost to anyone who could use a prepared meal. To find a meal distribution site near you, contact email@example.com. For additional food resources, including food shelves and meal sites, explore Hunger Solution’s interactive map. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program might also be an option for you, and our SNAP Outreach Team can help you see if you are eligible via our quick screening tool.
Get Involved with Minnesota Central Kitchen
Commercial kitchens with food to donate can submit information via MealConnect.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Restaurants and businesses interested in becoming a kitchen partner site, or community organizations in need of meals, can email email@example.com.
Anyone who can donate financially is invited to do so. All donations made today will go twice as far thanks to a generous match.