Trees of Hope: The History of Second Harvest

Baihly Warfield
December 13, 2017 01:30 PM

Even if you don't see it every day, there are thousands of Northlanders in need of basic necessities like food. Second Harvest is one organization helping to provide that throughout the year. 

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Like many Northland programs, Second Harvest has strong ties to mining. 

"Obviously, during the early '80s, there was a recessionary period with thousands of miners out of work," Executive Director Shay Moris said. 

So the food bank, which was known as the Arrowhead Food Bank, was set up to help gather and distribute products to the 14 food shelves in northeastern Minnesota. 

They become Second Harvest in 1993, and in the late '90s, they relocated from the Range to Duluth. 

"I-35 being a major transportation corridor where all of our semis travel in and out of, it just made sense to relocate here," Moris said. 

They started constructing the Duluth facility in 2000 and expanded it in 2009. They have operated out of the 24,000-square foot building ever since. 

"We have grown and tried to build support over the years to diversify our funding so that if any one source leaves us, we can still operate," Moris said. 

With that growth has come a change in need too. Moris said it used to be about emergency, crisis feeding. 

"Today, you shift forward 35 years, we're feeding more people in a supplemental basis, meaning there are more people who are having difficulty with their jobs making enough to support their families," she said. 

And while years ago, they were receiving a lot of canned goods, Moris said now, it's about the fresh stuff. 

"Certainly, there is high demand for more nutritional products," Moris said. "So the things that we're getting like fresh produce are really well received and wanted by our nonprofit agencies."

You can help Second Harvest continue that legacy by donating to WDIO's Trees of Hope campaign and by stopping by the "Have a Heart, Help a Neighbor" live broadcast during Good Morning Northland on Friday, Dec. 8. 


Baihly Warfield

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