Food Programs2019-09-11T18:12:02+00:00

Food Programs


Through our network of local member agencies and direct food service program, people can receive a hot meal or groceries to help them get by. Second Harvest offers 7 programs to qualified individuals.

Second Harvest Food Shelf

The food shelf at Second Harvest provides hunger relief for people living in Grand Rapids and the surrounding area.

People who need help with food can come to the food shelf during open hours. A brief intake process records information on address, number of people in the household and household income. Volunteers help participants choose from available food in appropriate amounts for the family size. The foods available change constantly but often include canned soups and vegetables, cereal, produce, breads, meat and dairy.

Donations of food and garden produce are always welcome and appreciated! Donations can be made during the open hours listed below.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the food shelf. If you are interested in stocking shelves on weekday mornings or assisting participants during open hours, contact the program coordinator for more information and for volunteer openings.

The Food Shelf Hours:
Monday-Thursday 11:00am to 3:30pm
Friday 10:00am to 1:00pm
*First Tuesday of the month 11:00am to 5:30pm

For information contact our Food Shelf Coordinator at 218.326.4420 ext. 25 or by email.

Thank You to our Food Shelf Donors:
Open your Heart to the Hungry & Homeless
Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign
Emergency Food and Shelter Program
MN State Grant/Hunger Solutions Minnesota
Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation

Serving the communities of Balsam, Blackberry, Bovey, Cohasset, Coleraine, Grand Rapids, LaPrairie, Marble and Taconite & nearby Townships.

Food DistributionFood Distribution_2

Second Harvest distributes millions of pounds of food and grocery products to over 100 nonprofit agency partners in 7 counties. Food shelves, soup kitchens, emergency shelters and other agencies access large quantities of food from Second Harvest to feed the hungry in their local communities.

Food and grocery products are donated to Second Harvest by national, regional and local food manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and growers. The food is wholesome but has come to us because it was excess inventory, mislabeled, or close to sell by date. Government commodity foods are also an important source of donated food for member food shelves and soup kitchens.

Thank you for supporting our Food Distribution Program:

For information contact our Operations Manager at 218.326.4420 ext. 14 or by email.

Kids Pack Backpack Program

For children who may have limited food in the home over the weekend or holidays, Kids Packs Backpacks provide a package of food once a month to help them get by. Each pack contains 8-12 “kid friendly” food items that can be consumed with little or no preparation. The packs are distributed discreetly by school staff to children who may be at-risk of hunger when they don’t have access to school meals. Each pack also contains a simple nutrition handout.

During the School year of 2019-2020, 3,300 packs are being distributed each month to a total of 22 schools in the region.

Thank you for supporting our Kids Pack Program:

Plus many other local businesses and individuals that help to make this program happen.

Thank you to our Kids Pack Volunteers who pack the bags each month!
Kids Pack Volunteers
Northern Lights Community School
Grand Rapids Kiwanis
ICC Circle K

Kids Pack Backpack Program Locations:
2019-2020 School Year

Cohasset Elementary
Forest Lake Elementary
Murphy Elementary
Northern Lights Community School
Southwest Elementary
Vandyke Elementary
Greenway High School (5-8)
Bigfork School
Keewatin Elementary
Deer River King School
Aitkin Elementary
Hill City School
McGregor Elementary
Remer Elementary
Cass Lake-Bena Elementary
Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School
Cuyuna Range Elementary
Garfield Elementary
Harrison Elementary
Riverside Elementary
Robert J. Elkington Middle School

For more information contact our Member Services Coordinator at 218.326.4420 ext. 11 or by email.

Kids Backack Program

Donate Now

Kids BackPack Program_1

School Pantry Program


The School Pantry Program provides extra food for students to bring home to eat with their families. It is a food shelf within a school. Currently, 14 schools in our region offer school pantry programs.

School Pantry Program Locations:
2019-2020 School Year
Central Lakes College
Deer River King Elementary School
Leech Lake Tribal College
ISD 318~ Murphy Elementary, Forest Lake Elementary, Grand Rapids Senior High School
Itasca Community College School Pantry
Pine River-Backus School
Hill City School
ISD 316~ Vandyke Elementary School, Greenway High School
Rainy River College-I. Falls
Northland Community School-Remer

For more information contact our Member Services Coordinator at 218.326.4420 ext. 11 or by email.

SNAP Outreach1 in 7 Americans Receives SNAP Benefits

Each year there are SNAP benefits that go unclaimed because people are unaware of their eligibility or because they have difficulty with the application process. That is why Second Harvest participates in a SNAP Outreach Program. We work with organizations in the community to raise awareness about the availability of SNAP benefits, including providing information for distribution to clients; assisting with SNAP screening and SNAP applications; and post-application follow-up with counties. SNAP Outreach Program

The SNAP program provides an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that contains money for food, which can be spent like cash in most Minnesota food stores. The Snap Program is not intended to meet all of a person’s food budget needs, but can help stretch a budget so they have more money available for other necessities such as rent or medicine.

For more information contact us at 218.326.4420 ext. 22 or by email.

Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors

Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors (NAPS). With NAPS, qualifying older Minnesota adults receive a free supplemental food package every month. Each package includes a nutritious balance of shelf-stable foods, plus reduced fat cheese.

To find out if you or someone you know qualifies for the NAPS program contact our CSFP Coordinator, at 218.326.4420 ext. 22 or by email.

To submit a NAPS Application you can:

  1.  Print, complete the NAPS application, scan and email it to our CSFP Coordinator
    NAPS Application
  2. Bring it to a NAPS Location near you
    NAPS Locations

Itasca Holiday Program

Each year the Second Harvest’s Itasca Holiday Program brings the community together to help our neighbors through donations of food and gifts.

In collaboration with hundreds of donors and volunteers, Second Harvest Food Bank will help fill empty plates. During the holidays, families, low-income seniors and people with disabilities already struggling to put food on the table experience extra pressure to make ends meet. The Itasca Holiday Program has been helping families have a brighter holiday for over 20 years.

Special Holiday Boxes:
Special holiday food boxes are the primary focus of the program. The boxes contain holiday food items and special personal care products. Over 1,700 food boxes, along with a bag of seasonal fruit and a $20 grocery voucher, get distributed to referred families, seniors and people with disabilities in the Itasca County and Hill City area. Monetary donations for the food are crucial in order to meet the need. Children ages 1-12 in the households receiving a food box will be given a gift bag provided by donations through the Gingerbread Giving Trees and Toys for Tots in Itasca County.

One young woman who was signing up for the holiday program recently shared what it meant for her family.  “Last year we did not know about the program and we had nothing for the kids that year.  When they were really little, it didn’t matter that much, but to explain to them at this age that Santa won’t be coming to our house because we can’t afford gifts is really hard.  My husband’s hours keep getting cut and my job pays minimum wage.  We are grateful to be able to look forward to a better Christmas this year, because we can breathe a little easier knowing we will have the extra food and some things under the tree.  It helps a lot,” she said tearfully.

For more information contact us at 218.326.4420 or by email.

Donate Now

Thank you for supporting our Itasca Holiday Program:
Lake Country Power Operation Round-up
Minnesota Power Foundation
Zion Lutheran Church

Plus many other local business and individuals that help to make this program happen every year.

A Pop-Up Pantry is a traveling food shelf that delivers nutritious food directly to families in need.  Pop-Up Pantries allow us to increase access to fresh, healthy food in every community throughout north central Minnesota.

August Pop-Up Pantry Locations