Best Nonprofit Minneapolis 2014 - Second Harvest Heartland
Calling Second Harvest Heartland a food bank doesn't quite capture its scale or its impact. In 2012, the most recent year with full data, this hunger relief organization collected, stored, and distributed more than 76 million pounds of food throughout dozens of counties. How much food is 76 million pounds, you ask? It works out to about 59 million meals. That's the kind of effort that demands its own fleet of trucks, 90,000 square feet of warehouse space, and 20,000 volunteers. But Second Harvest Heartland isn't just a distributor. The organization also advocates, educates, and innovates — its Harvest to Home program collects un-picked produce from area farms, and its Food Rescue program saves grocery stores' surplus, to the tune of 18 million pounds of fresh food. Preventing waste, spreading information, and making sure that everyone has a bag of groceries is a mission we can all get behind.