Second Harvest Heartland was named the 2014 Member of the Year at the Feeding America National Executive Directors' Forum that took place last week in St. Louis. The award is given to the year's most outstanding food bank of the more than 200 food banks across the nation in the Feeding America network.
Judges selected the St. Paul food bank because of its exceptional work over the past year, in particular, the food bank's commitment to community collaboration and raising awareness in the Twin Cities area on the issue of hunger. They were also cited for their efforts in increasing SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps) outreach and application assistance among those in need and their commitment to bringing more fresh fruits and vegetables to families in the area. The food bank was also recognized for strong fundraising and mobilizing volunteers who committed more than 130,000 hours in 2013, or the equivalent of 63 full-time employees.
"Second Harvest Heartland is always looking for ways to understand how to best serve their clients and their community," said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America, the nation's leading hunger relief charity. "With strong internal leadership, high brand awareness and a comprehensive, sustainable fundraising strategy, Second Harvest Heartland is truly a leader in our Network. President and CEO Rob Zeaske and his remarkable team are well deserving of this great honor. Their effort to help feed the hungry in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and their contribution to our mission is truly inspiring."
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Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.