As part of its mission to improve lung health and prevent lung disease, the American Lung Association in Minnesota educates children, parents, and school personnel about how to manage asthma, a prevalent yet often misunderstood disease.
Through its outdoor summer camp—Camp Superkids—the organization helps children with asthma experience fun outdoor activities in a safe environment and teaches them more about managing their chronic illness. To date, Camp Superkids has provided life-saving asthma education to more than 6,000 Minnesota children.
While one-time food and grocery donations are important to people in need, the question still remains: how can we ensure that same person isn?t in need again tomorrow, or in a month?
Second Harvest Heartland addresses this question by working to provide long-term hunger relief to the community. As a member of Feeding America, and the Upper Midwest?s biggest hunger-relief organization, Second Harvest Heartland continuously accepts donations of dry, refrigerated, and frozen food and stores them in 90,000+ square feet of space. From there, the organization's fleet of trucks delivers the donations to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and other community centers. But food distribution is only part of Second Harvest Heartland's mission.
The organization runs programs and initiatives such as Food Rescue, which prevents millions of pounds of food from going unused. Professional drivers head to local grocers to collect food that would otherwise be thrown away?including fresh produce, dairy, and meat?and distributes them to soup kitchens and other partners in Second Harvest Heartland?s 59-county service area. Other programs help educate members of the community, empowering them to get involved in the fight to end hunger.
For nearly a century, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota has provided medical care for children along with clinical and surgical services. With 380 staffed beds at two campuses, the hospitals care for more than 125,700 kids each year. Their pediatric services subscribe to the most current research models and employ innovative practices to maximize the quality of care it provides.
Children’s cultivates a positive and welcoming environment for patients by providing kid-friendly diversions as well as resources for their families. Kids can take part in programming from Star Studio, the in-hospital TV channel, and parents can turn to interpreter services or parenting professionals for assistance.
Children’s will soon complete state-of-the-art renovations on both campuses, which will include private patient rooms, expanded surgery and triage centers, and an internal Ronald McDonald House. The additions will foster an open and airy atmosphere that provides comfort for patients, with designs that integrate science, art, and nature.
The organization’s Parent Education and Discharge Instructions (PEDI) project trains nurses to educate parents on follow-up-care procedures after pediatric open-heart surgery, including situational training on the recovery process and educational booklets on at-home care. By improving postoperative instruction, Children's Heartlink hopes to reduce infection rates and other complications, and prevent return hospitalizations. Children’s HeartLink has already launched the PEDI project at one Indian hospital and plans to expand to two other hospitals in India, including Innova Heart Hospital in Hyderabad, as well as to share its materials with other hospitals online.
House of Charity's food center serves free, nutritious meals to those experiencing homelessness as well as individuals who are working but unable to afford food. The organization is one of the only free public-meal programs in Minneapolis that operates 7 days a week, 365 days a year. On an average day of operation, about 300 people eat at the food center, and nearly all meals are prepared from scratch to reduce expenses while increasing nutritional value. On any weekday, women and children accompanied by a parent can eat breakfast at the food center, and all are welcome for lunch. The center also serves a public brunch on weekends. Five to 10 volunteers operate the food center and rely entirely on grants and charitable contributions for financial support.
Gardening Matters supports local gardeners and advocates for their needs, working toward the creation of successful, sustainable, low-cost gardens across the Twin Cities. By sharing information, providing access to education, and connecting gardeners to each other, Gardening Matters aims to increase food production at a community level and influence positive behavior changes.
Gardening Matters works closely with the Local Food Resource Hubs project. Through this network of local residents, neighborhood organizations, local businesses, and the city office, gardeners can receive seeds, seedlings, and low-cost workshops. Also, the network acts as a support group from which gardening newcomers can draw tips on growing and cooking and on composting their own produce.
Last year, local food hubs distributed more than 13,000 seed packets and 15,000 seedlings to gardeners. With the addition of a tool lending library, Gardening Matters hopes to continue improving food security and access to fresh produce.