From the Board Chair and Executive Director
Greetings to you from the Board and Staff of Second Harvest Heartland!
On October 1, 2001 the Greater Minneapolis and St. Paul Food Banks merged to form Second Harvest Heartland. On that date in 2006, we celebrated the fifth anniversary of what became the 7th largest food bank in the U.S.
During the past five years, Second Harvest Heartland has distributed more than 125 million pounds of food and household products. We were able to distribute this staggering amount only through the combined efforts of thousands of dedicated financial supporters, product donors and the tireless efforts of volunteers, member agencies, Second Harvest Heartland staff and additional partners in the fight against hunger. Second Harvest Heartland is presently more focused, stronger financially and better-positioned to carry out our mission than ever before.
And yet, coexisting with these organizational strengths and accomplishments is an endemic and rapidly-rising incidence of hunger among our Heartland neighbors. Senior citizens, financially and physically independent through decades of contributions to our society, now find their livelihood threatened by not having the monthly income for proper nutrition. Rapidly increasing numbers of low-income working families are being forced to downsize portions, water down recipes and often skip meals completely to save enough money to pay bills. Hungry children fidget in classrooms and watch the clock eagerly for school lunch — the only decent meal of the day. Here
in America. Here in the Heartland. Here in your community.
Confronting these sobering realities, Second Harvest Heartland’s Board this year adopted a stronger mission. It moves us from fighting hunger through community partnerships to ending hunger through community partnerships. Though just a change of one word, imagine the world of difference the realization of that vision would mean to those wearing the face of hunger.
We at Second Harvest Heartland feel the attainment of this bold goal is entirely possible. We have calculated the gap between the amount of food we distribute and the amount we estimate would be needed to provide access to all those who need hunger relief in our service area. We are now working on the details of a plan involving one- year, five-year and long-term strategies and tactics that will systematically reduce, and eventually eliminate this gap. Second Harvest Heartland has the resolve; we will provide the planning and execution with your ongoing support of this vision and our mission. Working together with our valued partners, we are effectively putting hunger on the “endangered” list. With extinction soon to follow.
Please accept our heartfelt thanks for your support this year and into the future. Sincerely,
Grant K. Wacker Board Chair
R. Jane Brown Executive Director
Second Harvest Heartland