Second Harvest Heartland - Newsletter - Fall 2011


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Second Harvest Heartland - Newsletter - Fall 2011

  1. 1. Stories Hope Fall 2011 ofMOREPEOPLE to FOOD PG 4 ®I N S I DE • Little school, big effort • Give to the Max Day • Hunger Action Month a success • Local farms provide national help pg 3 pg 6 pg 7
  2. 2. The Mission Beyond A LITTLE SCHOOL DOING A LOT OF GOOD the Mission Food & With slightly more than 700 students at A message from our Executive Director the elementary school, Julie figured the d Drive drive would be relatively small. “I thought Your support helps make holidays happy It’s serious fun. we would be lucky to collect 500 pounds What could be better than winning of food,” she said. But she was way off. “I was blown away when I found out that we I hope that this newsletter finds you and yours in happy, holiday spirits. For most of both had jobs. All of that changed when his wife suffered a medical issue that left member who gave him a list of resources who could help. American Idol, meeting Adrian Peterson or getting a new puppy? Winning the Wilshire September is Hunger Action Month. collected 2,300 pounds in the first year of our drive.” In fact, last year’s drive brought Easy To Donate. us, Thanksgiving is a time of celebration of her legally blind. As the medical bills, Park Elementary school Food & Fund Drive, And while Carl explains that walking plenty, centered around a sumptuous meal. mortgage and other expenses piled up, that’s what! in 2,747 pounds of food and collected $687 into the food shelf for the first time was But as you know, for so many families, the they quickly exhausted their savings and for our neighbors in need. the toughest thing he’s ever had to do, he Two years ago, Julie Pierce, the current The WPPA Food & Fund Drive collected 2,747 holidays can put extra strain on already retirement accounts. can relish in a little more joy this holiday President of the Wilshire Park Parents While this may seem like an ordinary pounds of food. tight budgets. school drive, the prize is what makes As a part of the Second Harvest Heartland Carl puts in more than 12 hours a day, five days a week at a job he’s held for years, but season, knowing he is able to provide for his family. “Now I know that the kids will Association (WPPA), searched for a way that the school could collectively give back Donate $1 at this checkout. it special. “We didn’t want to give the To add more of a learning experience to the children food or toys, instead, we wanted drive, the school staff gives a “food bank team, I’m blessed every day to experience still can’t afford to feed his family. Like have food, and I don’t have to skip meals to the community. She wanted it to be a our neighbors sharing their abundance many parents who are struggling with anymore. That’s a big relief.” selfless giving project. Julie found Second a feel-good reward,” said Julie. The WPPA math problem” to the students. For example: with members of our community who are expenses, he found himself cutting back Harvest Heartland and signed the school decided that the winning classroom would “If $1 equals four meals and each Second “I’ve been so amazed by how nice they are,” struggling. I want to share with you a story on his own meals to make sure that his Carl said of the food shelf staff members. up for a Food & Fund Drive, which took the September is Hunger Action Month. Food & Fund Drive box get to help load the donated food items on Harvest Heartland form of a week-long friendly competition to Second Harvest Heartland’s truck. “The holds approximately 60 meals, how many Easy To Donate. about a man named Carl—a father whose children had enough food. The situation “Very understanding, not judgmental at all.” family endured some difficulties that left reached a critical point recently. “Our between classrooms to see who could raise kids just love it. The classroom that won dollars does this translate to?” This is just them in need of help putting food on the cupboards were empty, the kids were Carl is just one of thousands of our friends the most food & funds. the 2009 drive expressed that winning this another way the kids are able to recognize table. If you haven’t already heard Carl’s asking for something to eat, and I didn’t and neighbors who are helped every day by competition was better than ‘winning the how many people benefit from the drive and story, I hope you’ll read on. know what to do,” Carl said. your support. Thank you for all you do, and Donate $1 at this checkout. Super Bowl, American Idol, getting a new from their help. happy holidays. puppy, winning the lottery, getting a new Carl works as a route driver for a national But thanks to the generous support of Though she has a daughter who attends -Rob Zeaske baby brother or sister or having a snow day.’ food company. He and his wife were able people like you, Carl was able to find help. the school and Julie herself participates in They just had such a great time.” she told us. to support themselves and their two After visiting our website, Carl connected WPPA, she doesn’t interact with the students children and even buy a home when they with a Second Harvest Heartland staff Of course, the most important parts of the drive as much as the teachers do. Still, the kids are the food and funds collected for those in recognize Julie in the hall and excitedly tell need. “We take time to explain to the students her that they brought in cans of food. “This Get your Our winter and summer issues are now online exclusives! that there are people out there who literally drive is really my feel good moment. The In an effort to reduce costs and put more of your generous gifts toward helping those in need, two issues per year are Stories of Hope only available online. To ensure that you don’t miss out on all of our Stories of Hope, visit and won’t have dinner on their table tonight,” Julie kids are excited and it is important to do online! sign up to receive these issues via email. The spring and fall Stories of Hope will continue to arrive in your mailbox. The WPPA Food & Fund Drive took the form of a said. “They are aware of what they are doing things for others. This fundraiser isn’t for the week-long friendly competition between classrooms. and are so proud that they are helping someone school. Instead, it is for the greater good and else. We’re teaching them life skills.” that makes it extra special.” Together we are transforming hunger relief. You can help. Mark your calendar with these events. Go to for more details. THANK YOU FOR TAKING ACTION THIS SEPTEMBER! Second Harvest Heartland can’t thank everyone enough for supporting Hunger Action Month in Minnesota! While the in-store totals are still rolling in, we’ve already IBEW Holiday Lights in the Park Vintner Ball surpassed our goal of raising enough food and funds to provide more than one million Daily, November 22 - January 1 • Phalen Park February 25 • Westin Edina Galleria meals to hungry kids, families and seniors in our communities. St. Paul’s Phalen Park is transformed into a fantasy of lights and All proceeds from this world-class charitable wine tasting event color! Proceeds benefit Second Harvest Heartland, Union Gospel benefit Second Harvest Heartland. This tremendous result would not have been achievable without your help, and the Mission, UnderConstruction and St. Paul Parks Conservancy. To learn more, visit support of our wonderful campaign partners. We thank you sincerely for your generosity. For times and prices, visit Dish: Cuisine for Change When you give a little, you feed a lot. Let’s Kick Hunger Day April 19 • Saint Paul RiverCentre January 6 • WCCO Radio & Taste of the NFL Dish is an elegant evening of fine food, exciting auction items, Join the fight against hunger as WCCO Radio and Taste of the NFL wine tasting and fabulous entertainment, all benefiting raise funds for Second Harvest Heartland and food banks in NFL Second Harvest Heartland. cities across the country. Find out how you can get involved at For more information, visit Fall 2011 Fall 2011 3
  3. 3. MOREPEOPLE to Second Harvest Heartland has always been, at our core, a food bank—an efficient operational engine that FOOD true hunger relief organization working to address the meal gap at every level. SNAP OUTREACH Breaking down barriers to access Demand for emergency food assistance has increased significantly as families have been pummeled by the recession and high unemployment. Millions of people throughout the nation are forced to accept reduced wages while gas prices are up and food prices soar. In the end, struggling families are finding it harder than ever to make ends meet. Yet more than one in three people who qualify for SNAP (Food Support or Food delivers vast amounts of food quickly and systemically As we learned from our Missing Meals study conducted Stamps) leave their benefits on the table—literally. That’s the equivalent of to 1,000 member food shelves, soup kitchens and nearly $210 million of already-funded food and financial assistance other programs throughout our service area. It’s that in 2008, the emergency food system—of which the food unclaimed. We’re dedicated to ensuring each of our neighbors has efficiency that allows us to distribute the equivalent of bank is a part—only accounts for about 5% of the meals access to the meals they need, and with so much resource readily 18 meals for every $5 you contribute; to collect fresh, consumed by those in need. We’re committed to ensuring available, it’s crucial that we work to ensure this resource is utilized. nutritious foods from retailers and get it to the homes that every one of our neighbors has access to food in Second Harvest Heartland’s SNAP Outreach of the hungry within 24-48 hours; and to ensure there’s their time of need, and we know that the food bank and Specialists visit food shelves, soup kitchens, and food at the local food shelf when any parent, child or our network members alone can’t accomplish that goal. other organizations and events to help people older adult needs to reach out for help. understand the program, and to break down barriers You’ve likely read a bit about these programs in other to participation—from lack of awareness to difficult Nearly $210 million in available food But it also enables us to do more innovative work—to newsletters, but we wanted to take this opportunity assistance benefits go unclaimed. application processes or other complications. focus on ending hunger rather than simply fighting it. to present some of our “beyond the food bank” Over the past couple of years, we’ve gradually moved initiatives—projects that aim to leverage all existing We’re committed to ensuring that every one of our neighbors beyond the role of a traditional food bank into that of a resources to get more meals to more people. has access to food in their time of need. The Meals for Minds program provided FROM HARVEST TO HOME 3,374 meals for children and their families. MEALS FOR MINDS Capturing the heartland’s 200 million pounds of hope Food for families, so kids can succeed at school…and in life In Minnesota alone, the equivalent of more than 150 million meals in the form of corn, potatoes, School pantries—mobile, monthly, pop-up food shelf models embedded in schools—provide an emerging watermelon, peppers and other nutritious foods are either plowed under or unsold by hardworking model for reaching children with food assistance in a novel way. Each month, a group of volunteers gathers farmers. But through collaboration, we’re reducing waste, better utilizing resources available in in a Twin Cities-area school to sort, package and display groups of food items—proteins, produce, bakery our land of plenty and ultimately bringing more food to those in our community who are hungry. and more—so that students and their families can visit the pantry and “shop” for supplemental food. From Harvest to Home connects Minnesota farmers with regional hunger relief organizations— Thanks to a grant from Target and through partnerships with local schools, the Meals for Minds program anchored by Second Harvest Heartland—to get fresh produce from the farm to those in need. provided 3,374 children and their families with much-needed groceries at four pilot low-income-area While still in its infancy, the program has already collected 14 trucks full of sweet corn, more than schools in the 2010-2011 academic year, and has expanded to eight schools with seven distribution sites 1 million pounds of potatoes and a mixed truck full of watermelon, green peppers and sweet corn. for the 2011-2012 school year. Hunger-Free MN believes that food is a FOOD RESCUE basic and essential human right. HUNGER-FREE MINNESOTA Retailers are no longer throwing away their chance to help Fighting hunger where you live Each week, Second Harvest Heartland’s Food Rescue drivers and partner agencies collect a variety of Hunger-Free Minnesota is a collaborative movement to end hunger in our communities, initiated by a nutritious foods, including produce, dairy, meat, bakery and other items from 275 generous retail stores. coalition of Minnesota hunger relief organizations—including Second Harvest Heartland—united under These products are made available to meal programs and food shelves throughout our service area—often the common belief that food is a basic and essential human right. The Hunger-Free Minnesota campaign within 24 hours of collection. Food Rescue is Second Harvest Heartland’s fastest growing source of food, has created a data-driven action plan comprising 22 initiatives that will close the 100 million missing providing more than 18 million pounds of healthy food meals gap, annually and sustainably, by 2015. to communities in need this past The Hunger-Free Minnesota campaign focuses its efforts in three key areas: fiscal year—a 55% increase over fiscal year 2010. • Increasing emergency food assistance by 50 million meals annually • Increasing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by 30 million meals annually • Increasing use of child public nutrition programs to add 20 million meals annuallyFood Rescue is our fastest growing Second Harvest Heartland is a proud founding member of Hunger-Free Minnesota. If you haven’tsource of food. already, dig in at and join the movement. Together, we can ensure every one of our neighbors has access to the meals they need to live healthy, happy and productive lives.4 Fall 2011 Fall 2011 5
  4. 4. Voices of Hunger THE FRONT LINES OF HUNGER RELIEF BEYOND From farms in Minnesota to those in need all over the country ABOVE & There is nothing better during a Minnesota summer than the taste of fresh sweet corn. And while many of us are fortunate enough to regularly enjoy the GUS MENTH: delicious treat, there are thousands of others who may Driver not have enjoyed a single kernel this year. That is, if it “It’s the little things for those in need weren’t for Mark and Gary. As he makes his numerous deliveries throughout the Twin Cities that make a difference.” Tony Mans, Second Harvest Heartland’s Director of every day, Gus Menth sees that there are a lot of people who rely on Food Sourcing, received a call one afternoon as he him for the food they need. was on his way to a meeting. On the phone was Mark When Gus started his tenure with Second Harvest Heartland to the agencies that need it,” Gus said. “It’s incredible to see the in 2005 as an order picker, he helped coordinate and prepare increase in poundage, and the support we receive so that we can food orders that were distributed to our agencies, such as a food get the food to those who need it.” AN EXTRA EFFORT FOR OUR go to waste. Instead, it went to hundreds of thousands shelves, soup kitchens and community centers. When the position A typical day for Gus starts around 6:00 a.m. He organizes the HUNGRY NEIGHBORS of families in need. “I was just amazed at the quantity of corn that we were able to move. I didn’t realize the of trucker driver opened, Gus applied and was offered the job food, loads it up on his truck and hits the road. While in the field, shortly thereafter. “I love it because I am out and about all day long. his delivery stops might include a shelter for abused women and large network Second Harvest Heartland had. I called Chmielewski, owner of Stoney Brook Farms in I couldn’t handle an office job. I like to be outside and interacting children or a church that serves dinner to the homeless at night. and got the load ready to go and the truck was already Foley, Minnesota, who said he had a truckload of with people,” he said. “You never know what you might encounter from day to day, but waiting to be filled with corn,” Mark said. extra sweet corn he wanted to share with Second Since Gus started as a driver five years ago, the number of pounds what I do know is that I am helping people. I get to go home at Harvest Heartland. Second Harvest Heartland has always partnered with distributed from our warehouse has doubled. In the 2011 fiscal night and feel good about what I do and know that I have made an farmers and through the years we’ve received many Later that evening, as he was about to leave for his son’s year, Second Harvest Heartland distributed 70 million pounds of impact,” Gus told us. Just in case Gus sees kids at one of his stops, generous donations of potatoes. But in an effort to baseball game, Tony received another call, this time food—an increase of 11 million pounds from 2010. Quickly and he keeps a bag of candy bars in his truck to give to them. “It’s the provide more farm-fresh food to our neighbors in from Gary Pahl, owner of Pahl Farms in Apple Valley, efficiently getting the food from our warehouse to those in need little things for those in need that make a difference,” he said. need, Tony and his team have been developing more Minnesota. It turned out Mark had gotten in touch keeps our drivers extremely busy. “On a typical day, I might have Though the number of pounds of food delivered continues to relationships with farmers across the state. And this with Gary about the opportunity to share extra corn about 35 pallets of food that I need to deliver, but the average increase, Gus focuses on what is most important. “My job is so most recent donation did just that—delivered more with Second Harvest Heartland. A few minutes later. truck only holds 13 pallets. I have to make sure that I allot time much more than delivering food. It’s about helping people, and fresh food to more people. Mark called again, saying he had two more truckloads. to get back to the warehouse to get more food so that it can get that’s what matters.” “Within hours, I had five truckloads of corn available, In a typical year, Second Harvest Heartland receives and I had to quickly figure out what to do with it all,” about five pallets of sweet corn, but this year that Tony said. The very next morning, Tony sent trucks number grew to about a half million pounds of this NO INK PMS 476U to pick up the corn and through the Feeding America farm-fresh product. “When you put all of your hard food bank network, Tony was able to help distribute it work and labor into something, you don’t want to see it YOUR SUPPORT IS NEEDED to food banks throughout Minnesota as well as other go unused, especially when the need for food has risen NOW, MORE THAN EVER states, such as Florida. The quick action of everyone so much in the past few years,” says Gary. NON-PROFIT ORG. ensured that this bountiful harvest would go to good ST CLOUD, MN U.S. POSTAGE PERMIT #649 While the need for fresh food does continue to PAID use before it went bad. increase, one thing is for sure: Thanks to Gary and “It was one of my last loads of corn and though I wasn’t Mark, families in Minnesota and across the United Like Carl, no one ever thinks that they will have to rely on able to distribute it for wholesale, I knew the corn States were able to enjoy healthy and delicious sweet a food bank or food shelf to provide a Thanksgiving meal for their families. Please share what you can to help us keep our neighbors hunger free this holiday season. Just a $10 ‘‘ inside the husk was still perfectly edible and I would’ve hated to see it go to waste,” Mark told us. But it didn’t corn this summer. “Anything we can do to help people in need is a blessing,” said Gary. contribution will allow us to provide a meal-a-day for more THANK YOU FOR A MAXIMUM EFFORT than a month for a parent, child or senior in need. On behalf of Second Harvest Heartland and those we serve, thank you ‘‘ so much for your generosity and enthusiasm during this year’s Give to To donate, use the handy attached envelope or the Max Day. Through the incredible support of thousands of people, visit us online at people. And a special thanks to the individual donors who generously 1140 Gervais Ave St. Paul, MN 55109 It’s really helped to go to the the hungry families, children and seniors in our community will have food shelf. Now I know the food when they need it most. contributed to the day so that we were able to increase the match. kids will have food, and I dont We extend a sincere thanks to the Mosaic On this one day of giving, the community came together to not only Company for matching funds throughout the day, provide more food for our hungry neighbors, but to help change their have to skip meals any more. allowing us to provide even more food to more lives for the better. We can’t thank you enough. Carl - Minneapolis, husband and father6 Fall 2011 Fall 2011 7
  5. 5. Nonprofit Organization US Postage Paid Second Harvest 1140 GERVAIS AVE., ST. PAUL, MN 55109-2020 Heartland Cause and Effects You supported the cause. Here is the change you’ve effected. Summer Food Service Program The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a partnership between the Minnesota Vikings, Target, ConAgra, Carlson Companies and Second Harvest Heartland SFSP is funded in part due to funds that helps provide grant-supported meals to generated at Taste of the Vikings. children throughout the summer. Thanks to Thanks to the Minnesota Vikings for you, we helped provide more than 1 million organizing this annual gala that does so much good for so many people! grant-supported meals in 2011. 1.2 mil meals provided 1 million+ 900 774,000 600 Contact Info Second Harvest Heartland Phone: 651.484.5117 Toll Free: 888.339.3663 300 Fax: 651.484.1064 200,000 0 2009 2010 2011 ®8 Fall 2011