Hunger-Free Minnesota Announces it is on target to Close the 100 Million Missing Meal Gap In The State

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More than 35 million meals added since campaign start in June 2011.

Hunger Free Minnesota

We’re very proud of our partners, who are on the front lines fighting hunger and taking leadership roles on these initiatives. Our goal is to make transformational change that lasts. We are encouraged by our progress, but there is still much to be done.

Hunger-Free Minnesota ( announced that its data-driven initiatives have contributed 35.6 million meals to those who are hungry in Minnesota since its launch in the June of 2011. The campaign, which includes corporate and nonprofit partners and agencies statewide, is one-third of the way toward its three-year goal of filling the 100 million missing meal gap. Results include data through November 2012.

The campaign includes nonprofit, government and business partners who are making a sustainable change in the way that hunger is fought in our state. It is the only statewide campaign of its type in the nation that convenes corporate funders to brainstorm, pilot and invest in transformational strategies to close the meal gap in partnership with nonprofits community by community. Initiatives are aimed at reducing hunger to prevent its devastating impact on Minnesotans of all ages. Research for the coalition shows that hunger costs Minnesotans more than $1.2 billion annually.

“Together, we are proving that hunger in our state is a solvable issue,” said Ellie Lucas, chief campaign officer for Hunger-Free Minnesota. “We’re very proud of our partners, who are on the front lines fighting hunger and taking leadership roles on these initiatives. Our goal is to make transformational change that lasts. We are encouraged by our progress, but there is still much to be done.”

In addition to broad research and awareness of federal support programs, Hunger-Free Minnesota works to identify best practices for overcoming barriers to fighting hunger. Hunger-Free Minnesota, through its partners and funders, makes grants to organizations that serve hungry Minnesotans, increase system capacity in the emergency food delivery system, source new food streams and increase enrollment in nutrition programs.

To collaborate in the fight against hunger the strategic, data-driven campaign engages:

  •     Corporations (General Mills, Cargill, UnitedHealth Group, Hormel Foods, Land O’Lakes, The Boston Consulting Group)
  •     Not-for-profit organizations (Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Hunger Solutions Minnesota, Minnesota Public Radio, Greater Twin Cities United Way, Association of United Ways of Minnesota, Children’s Defense Fund, Feeding America and other food banks)
  •     Federal and state government entities (United States Department of Agriculture and Minnesota Departments of Health, Education and Human Services)
  •     Community members

Some Results at a Glance

  •     More than 35 million total meals added in Minnesota
  •     Developed and complied groundbreaking data to more precisely match hunger needs to resources with partners The Boston Consulting Group and EnSearch, Inc.
  •     Awarded grants for increasing physical capacity or ability to store or deliver more nutritious food with partner, Hormel Foods
  •     Grants to Hunger Solutions Minnesota to administer SNAP awareness and education campaign with partner General Mills
  •     Grants to Second Harvest Heartland and Channel One Regional Food Bank for 2013 agricultural surplus activities with partner Cargill
  •     Grant to Children’s Defense Fund – Minnesota for School Breakfast Program outreach with partner General Mills.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Advertising and Awareness Campaign Results

  •     Exceeded all goals for the campaign that raised awareness and participation among underserved seniors and the newly unemployed in SNAP
  •     More than 33 million meals added through increased SNAP enrollment
  •     More than 2,000 community partners participated in the SNAP outreach program
  •     More than 59,000 eligible, but not previously enrolled, SNAP customers enrolled
  •     Calls about SNAP from low-income seniors, an underserved group, rose 200% in response to marketing targeted to their issues

Agricultural Surplus Initiative Results

  •     3.9 million pounds of agricultural surplus food delivered in 2012 – a 201% increase from 2011
  •     600,000 pounds of surplus sweet corn rescued through pilot program
  •     500+ farmers across Minnesota contacted through outreach and direct marketing
  •     Efforts underway to source 12 additional crops

About the 100 Million Missing Meal Gap
Research from The Boston Consulting Group and Feeding America demonstrated that one in ten Minnesotans are missing as many as one meal every other day. The statewide research found pockets of hunger in every county in the state and identified meal deficits among children, working adults, the unemployed and seniors.

About Hunger-Free Minnesota
Hunger-Free Minnesota is a time-limited campaign to close the 100-million missing-meal gap in Minnesota by 2015. Among its partners and supporters are community leaders and citizens, nonprofit agencies and organizations, food banks, food shelves, and corporations. Research partners include The Boston Consulting Group and EnSearch, Inc. Hunger-Free Minnesota’s strategic action plan focuses on emergency food system capacity, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and child hunger and nutrition. The campaign encourages individuals and organizations to “Fight Hunger Where You Live.” More information is available at

Information on benchmark data can be found at:

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Christine Tsang
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