The COVID-19 Hunger Surge

Data from McKinsey & Co, collected on behalf of Second Harvest Heartland suggests a hunger crisis unlike anything seen since the Great Depression. The hunger crisis is already underway in Minnesota. Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, 1 in 11 Minnesotans struggled to afford food. 1 in 8 Minnesotans now face hunger.

An additonal 270,000 Minnesotans and 112,000 kids will face hunger in the coming weeks and months

The study suggests that in addition to those who faced hunger before the pandemic, 275,000 Minnesotans — including 112,000 kids — are now facing hunger.

An additonal 270,000 Minnesotans and 112,000 kids will face hunger in the coming weeks and months

In Second Harvest Heartland's 59 county service area, that number is an additional 233,000 people, including 96,000 kids.

An additonal 233,000 people, including 96,000 kids, will face hunger in the Second Harvest Heartland service area.

Food shelves and food banks across Minnesota are expecting a 65 percent increase in demand through the remainder of 2020 and into 2021 as a result of challenging economic conditions tied to COVID-19.

Second Harvest Heartland will experience a 70% increase in demand. To feed them, we'll need to deliver 25 million more meals.

The increase in demand will cost $17 million over the next six months in the Second Harvest Heartland service area and $21 million across the entire state. At Second Harvest Heartland, we are preparing to meet the increased need.

Our response plan

Fortunately, hunger can be kept at bay. In response to the growing crisis, we will take the following steps:

RAISE FUNDS to help meet a portion of the estimated $17 million it will take to feed the newly hungry in the next six months. ADVOCATE for state support to help food banks and food shelves meet the need and for investments in nutrition programs like SNAP to feed more people. ADAPT the ways we deliver food to reach every community safely, so that we reach people with little to no contact. EDUCATE THE COMMUNITY to share information and destigmatize food support.

Everyone can help

  • Make a donation today. Help fund free emergency grocery pop-ups, food boxes, and more. A monthly gift of $30 can provide 1,080 meals per year.
  • Make it okay to ask for help. Talk about hunger and destigmatize the need for food assistance. Get help at
  • Business leaders can help. Ensure a thriving future economy by investing in and partnering with Second Harvest Heartland today.
  • Join the Minnesota Central Kitchen network to donate meals to MealConnect or provide hot meals where they’re needed. Learn more.

Together, we can solve COVID-era hunger

New hunger projections will be available quarterly; check back to track our progress in the fight to keep everyone well and fed during these difficult times.

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