Advocate: Kids shouldn't have to worry about food insecurity—they should focus on being kids

“I'm here because my family is on the receiving end of everybody's generosity"

Hey, it's Cory Hepola
January 17, 2019 - 1:43 pm

Photo courtesy of Second Harvest Heartland


When Heidi Groess talks about how food shelves benefit the community, she speaks with the kind of authority that comes with experience. Not only is she a well-versed advocate against child hunger and a volunteer at her local food shelf—she also uses one to help feed her own children.

And she’s not afraid to talk about it. Groess is a stay at home mom, her husband works at a church, and they live with their four children in Cottage Grove. She came to Let’s Kick Hunger Day so people could hear directly from someone whose family benefits from donations to Second Harvest Heartland.

“I'm here because my family is on the receiving end of everybody's generosity,”  Groess told WCCO Radio’s Cory Hepola. “All the donations and everything that's going on here today directly affects my family, my husband, my children, and the way that we've chosen to live our lives.”

RELATEDHear how this woman got life back on track and lost over 200 lbs with help from Second Harvest Heartland

Groess said the food provided by Second Harvest Heartland was fresher than people might think. “When you think of food shelves or donations, you oftentimes think you're going to be eating macaroni and cheese and canned foods. But no, that's quite the opposite. The bounty of local, even sometimes organic, fresh produce is pretty vast,” she said.

She told Hepola that children dealing with hunger struggle to perform well in school, which underlines the importance of families getting access to the kind of food that Second Harvest Heartland provides.

“Children shouldn't have to deal with food insecurity. They should worry about being four, or seven or 13,” she said.

The Twins Winter Caravan will stop at Lets Kick Hunger Day at the Mall of America Rotunda from 5-6 pm. Current and former players will be on hand to sign autographs and support Second Harvest Heartland. Join us there or listen live. 

Resources like meal programs and produce distributions provide nutritious food and make an important difference in the lives of so many people like Rosey. To donate call 952-886-HERO (4376) or 877-886-HERO (4376) or go here.

Listen to her conversation with Cory Hepola below, or read more about on the Second Harvest Heartland blog

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