Last year, 1 in 10 Minnesotans was at risk of not having enough to eat, and hungry Minnesotans missed 125 million meals. As the demand for emergency food increased, so, too, did the generosity of many of Second Harvest Heartland's charitable partners, six of whom demonstrated extraordinary leadership in meeting the unprecedented demand for food. It is those six partners that Second Harvest Heartland honors this year with its Hunger Hero award, a seal of appreciation designed to publicly acknowledge those who contributed the most by way of food, funds, hours, ideas, awareness, and more.
"Second Harvest Heartland works passionately every day to feed our hungry neighbors, but our success is dependent on the benevolence and conviction of our outstanding community partners who continue to demonstrate equal passion for and commitment to our cause," said Rob Zeaske, executive director of Second Harvest Heartland. "We are proud to recognize this year's Hunger Heroes for their leadership in substantially and sustainably impacting our hungry neighbors."
Hunger Heroes are recognized in six categories, each of which is critical to Second Harvest Heartland's mission of ending hunger through community partnerships and all of which must work in tandem to collectively achieve that goal. This year's award recipients and categories include:
The Boston Consulting Group-Innovation
The Boston Consulting Group is a breakthrough thought leader for ending hunger in Minnesota, identifying key initiatives for closing the state's missing meals gap and challenging Minnesotans to think differently about federally funded nutrition assistance programs.
Bremer Bank is a premier program partner with a far-reaching voice in community affairs. The organization has generated outstanding visibility and made a deep impression with its multi-media Take Action Against Hunger campaign that leverages employee support and as lead sponsor of the Food and Funds program.
General Mills has a long-standing commitment to hunger relief at both a corporate and an employee level. The manufacturer of many beloved brands delivered transformational financial support to food bank programs and operations, nearly one-third of which was the result of employee contributions.
SUPERVALU has demonstrated a "super" ability in the delivery of high-volume, nutritious charitable pounds to hometown neighbors, touching more than 1,000 hunger relief programs and innumerable lives with its generosity in 2010.
Each year, Target Volunteers donate hundreds of thousands of hours to strengthening local communities. In 2010, the retailer kept hunger relief in the center of its hometown bullseye, packing boxes and directly assisting struggling families as front-line partners in solving child hunger. As part of its commitment to education, the company also launched Target Meals for MindsSM in 2010. This innovative school food-pantry program is designed to help combat child hunger and support K-12 education by giving children the opportunity to focus on learning and their educational future, not on how or when they will receive their next meal.
Walmart has become a critical partner in the success of the Food Rescue program by donating a refrigerated truck and filling it with fresh meats, dairy and deli products, produce, and baked goods.
About The Boston Consulting Group
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients in all sectors and regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their businesses. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 74 offices in 42 countries. For more information, please visit www.bcg.com.
About Bremer Bank
Bremer Financial Corporation is a privately held, $8.0 billion regional financial services company jointly owned by its employees and the Otto Bremer Foundation (OBF). Founded in 1943 by Otto Bremer, the company is headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., and provides a comprehensive range of banking, investment, trust and insurance products and services to nearly 100 locations in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. OBF uses its share of dividends to distribute charitable grants to Bremer bank communities.
About the General Mills Foundation
The mission of the General Mills Foundation, celebrating 56 years of giving, is to nourish communities. In fiscal 2010, General Mills awarded more than $100 million to communities across the country. Of the total, the Foundation contributed $22 million in grants in the targeted areas of hunger and nutrition wellness, and K-12 education. In addition, 82 percent of U.S. employees volunteer in the communities where they live and work. More information is available at GeneralMills.com/Foundation.
About SUPERVALU INC.
SUPERVALU INC. is one of the largest companies in the U.S. grocery channel with annual sales of approximately $38 billion. SUPERVALU serves customers across the United States through a network of approximately 4,294 stores composed of 1,114 traditional retail stores, including 805 in-store pharmacies; 1,280 hard-discount stores, of which 899 are operated by licensee owners; and 1,900 independent stores serviced primarily by the company's traditional food distribution business. SUPERVALU has approximately 140,000 employees. For more information about SUPERVALU visit www.supervalu.com.
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) serves guests at 1,755 stores in 49 states nationwide and at Target.com. In addition, the company operates a credit card segment that offers branded proprietary credit card products. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its income through community grants and programs; today, that giving equals more than $3 million a week. For more information about Target's commitment to corporate responsibility, visit www.target.com/hereforgood.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support initiatives that are helping people live better. From Feb. 1, 2010 through Jan. 31, 2011, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave $732 million in cash and in-kind gifts, including donating 257 million pounds of nutritious food to local food banks across America. The Foundation also supports education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness initiatives. Internationally, Walmart gave $66 million in cash and in-kind gifts to charitable organizations. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.
About Second Harvest Heartland
Second Harvest Heartland, the Upper Midwest's largest hunger-relief organization, works to reinvent hunger relief through leadership and innovation so as to help those who are hungry today and provide the means for those who are hungry to be fed tomorrow. Pioneering partnerships and programs have paved the way for Second Harvest Heartland to distribute nearly 60 million pounds of grocery products this year to hungry seniors, families and children through nearly 1,000 non-profit member agencies and programs serving 59 counties in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.2harvest.org or call 651.484.5117.