The Issue: Food Insecurity in the Heartland
Although the harvest season is traditionally celebrated as a time of plenty, many in Minnesota and western Wisconsin won’t have an easy time sharing in the bounty this autumn. One in 10 people in the region deal with the stress of hunger on any given day, according to Feeding America’s Hunger Study 2010. And the numbers continue to grow: the USDA reports that the prevalence of food insecurity has grown in Minnesota, from 7.1% in 2001–03 to 10.3% in 2008–10 to 10.8% in 2011–13. In addition to the human toll of hunger, this growing condition of want costs Minnesota nearly $2 billion per year in lost productivity, avoidable healthcare costs, and other expenses.
The Campaign: Distributing Meals to People in Need
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Second Harvest Heartland to distribute wholesome meals to individuals in need in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. For every $10 raised, Second Harvest Heartland can distribute 30 meals to children, families, and seniors.
Second Harvest Heartland
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.