Beginning in July, Second Harvest North Central Food Bank will be partnering with local community sponsors and food shelves to bring Produce Pop-Up Pantries to north central Minnesota. Fresh produce will be available for no cost to people in need throughout the region at multiple locations.

During the growing season of July to September, Second Harvest takes in thousands of pounds of produce due in part to the Farm to Food Shelf Program. This program helps to support food donations.

“We are so grateful for this produce,” said Executive Director of Second Harvest Susan Estee.

The idea to host Produce Pop-Up Pantries was created in response to the abundance of produce received. Produce is donated to food banks throughout Minnesota. Next, the produce is either directly distributed to individuals or brought to food shelves.

Second Harvest hopes to distribute more than 500,000 pounds of produce in north central Minnesota in 2019. Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap reported that there are an estimated 21,980 individuals in north central Minnesota who are food insecure. This number includes 7,510 children.

“Delivering all of this produce is no small feat, but we know we are working to improve the health of communities throughout our region,” Estee commented. “There is no better work than that.”

Second Harvest distributes 4.2 million pounds of food annually to individuals and through member agencies. The organization has been working for 25 years following their mission to engage communities to end hunger.

“We know there is a correlation between nutritious food and a person’s health,” Estee said. “That is why it is so important that we work with the communities we serve to ensure they have the produce they need.”

For more information about Second Harvests’ Produce Pop-Up Pantry program, contact Susan Estee at 218-326-4420 or email susan@secondharvestncfb.com.

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