Monday, July 20, 2015

Second Harvest North Central Food Bank and Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless Announce Sixth Annual Food Shelf Challenge Grant

Summer is the hungriest time of the year for low-income children.  In fact 1,230 local kids living in the Grand Rapids area relied on food from Second Harvest’s Food Shelf in June.  Research shows that children consume up to 50 percent of their total daily calories at school during the school year.  Without that food, many low income families struggle to fill that gap.  That puts a lot of pressure on food shelves to keep up with the high demand during the summer months.

Second Harvest and Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless announce the Sixth Annual $150,000 Food Shelf Challenge Grant. Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless will proportionally match donations to Second Harvest Food Shelf during the month of July, up to $5,000. The more funds the Food Shelf raises in July, the larger the matching grant from Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless will be. 

Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless believes this approach to hunger alleviation is effective because it brings communities together to solve a growing concern across Minnesota.  The $150,000 Challenge will power a statewide initiative that leverages Open Your Heart funding to bring additional dollars to food shelves.  Since 1986, Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless has targeted millions of dollars to strategically fight hunger in Minnesota. Open Your Heart funds the purchase and transfer of more than one million pounds of fresh produce, meat and dairy products every year through Hunger Solutions Minnesota.

Hard working families turn to the food shelf when they really need to.  According to Desiree, a local mom who visited last month, “It really hurts your pride when you’re not able to feed your family, so you use whatever resources are available. With the help we get from the Food Shelf it makes a difference to get by and have one less thing to worry about.  I don’t think a lot of people could feed their families without it.”

It’s not just kids who are hungry in the summer.  The Food Shelf helps seniors struggling to get by on low fixed incomes, disabled adults trying to maintain independence, and working people whose paychecks don’t stretch far enough to make ends meet. 

Any donation made in July will help Second Harvest maximize the Open Your Heart July Challenge Grant and provide more food for hungry kids, seniors, and our struggling friends and neighbors.
For more information visit:

Second Harvest North Central Food Bank serves 115 hunger relief agencies in Koochiching, Itasca, Cass, Aitkin, Crow Wing, Mille Lacs and Kanabec counties. Second Harvest distributed 4.8 million pounds of food and grocery products were distributed through our partner agencies in 2014. For more information regarding Second Harvest North Central Food Bank, visit or call 218.326.4420.

Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless has 29 years of experience as the only grant provider in Minnesota focused solely on alleviating hunger and homelessness. Open Your Heart helps food and shelter providers of all sizes get the resources they need to serve more people, including mattresses, freezers, fresh produce and roof repairs. They also support homeless students by providing school supplies, activity fees, gym shoes, tutoring materials and other essentials that help them engage fully in school.  For more information:


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