Need greater than ever for Minnesota food shelfs

Second Harvest Heartland kicked off its 24-hour fundraising event in 2021, during the height of the pandemic. Three years later, the need is greater than its ever been.

Getting fresh food onto the plates of those in need is a large-scale operation at Second Harvest Heartland. Sorting and packing food. Volunteers are here every day, taking steps to help end hunger.

"Our main job is to end hunger," said Chief Development Officer Meghan Muske.

In 2022, Minnesota recorded more than 5 million food shelf visits. That's nearly 2 million more than the year prior. And Muske says this year is on pace to break a new record.

"We are seeing our hungriest year to date," said Muske.

Providing food to more than 400 food shelves in the state and parts of Wisconsin, keeping up with demand she says is a constant concern.

"Not only are food donations to us down and government supplements are down. we are having to buy more food and we are paying the same increased cost that anyone else would be," said Muske.

On April 26, the food bank will kick off its third annual 24-hour Harvest Giving Day.

"We are asking our community to come together and help us raise enough money to fund 1 million meals in 24 hours," said Muske.

And a dollar here can go a long way.

"So we can stretch a dollar like nobody's business. Every dollar donated, we here at second harvest turn into three meals," said Muske.

A small act that can have a big impact. "I know that hunger is affecting our kids in schools. our seniors and it could be your neighbor. Sometimes you don't know and the need is greater than we've ever seen," said Muske.

If you're interested in donating, click on the link below.