Salon Series Recap – Second Harvest Heartland

Junior League of Minneapolis Community Partner Salon Series
SALON: [suhlon; French salawn] an assembly of guests common during the 17th and 18th centuries, consisting of the leaders in society, art, politics, etc. under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation.

In January, we’re offering members the chance to connect with some of our community partners in small group settings to take a more holistic look at the achievement gap in Minneapolis.

  • From Second Harvest Heartland on January 12, we’ll deepen our understanding about hunger in our community and its tie to the achievement gap.
In the JLM’s first night of the Salon Series, Theresa McCormick, Produce Strategy Manager at Second Harvest Heartland, shared with us that 1 in 10 people in MN experience stress induced by hunger every day.  Second Harvest Heartland’s mission is to end hunger in our community through community partners.  Second Harvest does by running a number of different programs that serve varying populations of our community. And while Second Harvest employs a staff of 150+ individuals, much of their work is made possible by volunteer groups, like the Junior League. In 2016, 30,000 people volunteered to help sort and repack food to prepare it for distribution.  In 2016, Second Harvest distributed 80 million pounds of food, 55% of which was fresh food.
Through it’s various programs, Second Harvest serves approximately 532,000 individuals each year. Many of their programs focus on getting food into the hands of children and families.  Unfortunately, 1 in 6 kids in Minnesota is at risk of hunger.  In suburban areas, children miss almost 19 million meals every year primarily due to lack of participation in government funded programs.  In rural areas, children miss almost 7 million meals each year because of barriers to availability of food and access to transportation to get food.  Almost 9 million meals are missed throughout the summer due to lack of availability to school meal programs during the summer months.
In order to help these children, Second Harvest is currently piloting a program called “Food + You” which aims to increase healthy food resources available to students and their families by partnering with schools to create tailored solutions.  This multi-dimensional program connects students and their families with existing federal nutrition programs, direct food distribution, and community resources. After the pilot is completed, Second Harvest will use the data to develop the long-term program model.
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