Impact and Programs
Key results at Second Harvest Heartland last year included:
- Distributing 89.4 million pounds of food (the equivalent of more than 74 million meals). This includes more than 32.5 million pounds of fresh food through our Retail Food Rescue Program. Through Share Fresh Minnesota, we collected more than 8.5 million pounds of fresh produce from farms and large producers.
- Supporting hundreds of agency partners and programs with food for emergency hunger relief, as well as providing training and ongoing technical assistance.
- Facilitating access to more than 4 million meals through publicly-funded nutrition programs, including SNAP and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).
- Implementing a new software system in our warehouse operations to increase our efficiency and effectiveness.
- Engaging more than 33,000 volunteers to contribute their time to sorting, packing and distributing food. This is 5,000 more volunteers than the previous year.
- Hosting a Hunger and Health Forum. The forum brought together stakeholders from health care, insurance, government and the local community to explore new ways to link food insecurity interventions with health care initiatives.
- Hosting a Child Hunger and Education forum to help illuminate the opportunities and benefits of addressing hunger in the education setting.
- Operating three SNAP-related pilot programs in partnership with health care providers.
- Building the capacity of the national food bank network to source food donations from the agricultural sector through the Produce Capture Institute.
- Completing a five-year strategic plan calling for significant organizational growth to close our region’s missing meal gap.
Goal I. CONNECT OUR NEIGHBORS IN NEED TO MORE MEALS.
Objective A: Distribute 96 million lbs. of food.
- Implement Retail Food Rescue activities to secure and distribute 32.5 million pounds of fresh produce, meat, dairy and grain products.
- Secure and distribute donations of 11.5 million pounds of produce through Share Fresh Minnesota.
- Secure and distribute 51.4 million pounds of food from manufacturers, public sources, our purchase program, food drives and other sources.
Objective B: Connect hungry people to 4 million meals through publicly-funded food support programs.
- Enroll eligible individuals in SNAP via SNAP application assistance.
- Connect low-income children to the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).
Goal II. INVEST IN A STRONG, GROWING AND EFFECTIVE REGIONAL HUNGER RELIEF SYSTEM.
- Expand Share Fresh Minnesota via continued farmer outreach and develop state-wide coordination of program activities.
-Offer targeted assistance and convening to build the capacity of our food shelf partners.
- Accelerate growth of our individual giving program.
- Implement a capital campaign feasibility study.
Goal III. PROVIDE THOUGHT LEADERSHIP AND INNOVATION TO GENERATE TRANSFORMATIONAL IDEAS TO ELIMINATE HUNGER.
- Utilize the results of our “Health and Hunger Forum” and “Child Hunger Forum” that we held in 2014 to guide future research and program strategies, including pilot programs.
- Gather and disseminate best practices in agricultural donation activities through the Produce Capture Institute.
- Promote support of “Farm to Food Shelf”/Share Fresh Minnesota.
- Partner with public agencies to expand SNAP access.
Community or Constituency Served
Low-income and food insecure individuals and families, including children and seniors.
Geographic Area Served
Second Harvest Heartland serves hungry people throughout 41 counties in Minnesota, and 18 counties in western Wisconsin. Our large service area includes urban, suburban, small town and rural communities. Some of the larger communities we serve include the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan region, Saint Cloud, Mankato, Willmar, Hutchinson, Marshall, Hudson, River Falls and Eau Claire.