MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota-based C.H. Robinson teamed up with Twin Cities NBC affiliate KARE 11 during a one-day food and financial drive to fight hunger in Minnesota, with all donations benefitting Second Harvest Heartland. The Twin Cities Food Fight took place on Nov. 26 from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. and pitted four KARE 11 anchor teams at four different metro locations — Randy Shaver at Whole Foods, Julie Nelson at Lunds & Byerlys, Belinda Jensen at Kowalski’s Markets, and Eric Perkins at Cub Foods — against each other in a friendly competition to see which team could collect the most food. Every donated dollar counted as four pounds of food for the team total.
As a co-creator of the event, C.H. Robinson staffed each location throughout the day and provided the transportation needed to collect the donations and deliver them to Second Harvest Heartland. In addition, the C.H. Robinson Foundation provided a monetary gift, along with employee donations, and over 200 volunteer hours to the effort.
“At C.H. Robinson, our employees are passionate about making a difference in our communities around the world,” Bob Biesterfeld, president and chief executive officer at C.H. Robinson, told The Produce News. “We know that here in Minnesota, one in 11 households are fighting hunger. That’s why we’re proud to sponsor the KARE 11 Food Fight benefitting Second Harvest Heartland.”
By the end of the challenge day, the 2019 Food Fight had collected a record setting 1,468,130 pounds of food. But that number is expected to go up even higher, as more donations continue to arrive at the Second Harvest Heartland facility. Eric Perkins’ team won the competition against his fellow anchors, collecting 609,598 pounds of food at Cub Foods in the east metro.
“It was just a tremendous effort,” said Perkins. “Cub Foods was the monster in this thing and they are tremendous partners. Along with Second Harvest — it’s just a huge win for all of us.”
As one of the nation’s largest food banks, Second Harvest Heartland has been fighting hunger in the Midwest for over three decades and serves more than a half a million people each year. In 2018, Second Harvest helped provide more than 89 million meals to nearly 1,000 food shelves, pantries, and other partner programs serving 59 counties in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
Thierry Ibri, chief operations and program officer at Second Harvest Heartland, was delighted with the results of the Food Fight. “Many thanks on behalf of the one in 11 Minnesotans that don’t know where their next meal is going to come from,” said Ibri. “This was an amazing effort by the entire community that will allow us to provide some very needed relief during this holiday season.”
Since 1905, C.H. Robinson has served the food industry through the company’s logistics services and produce business brand, Robinson Fresh. In addition, preventing hunger and providing food assistance are charitable priorities of the C.H. Robinson Foundation.
“We just love being part of this event,” said Angie Freeman, chief human resources officer at C.H. Robinson. “It’s such an important need in our community and we had a chance to make a big impact and use our transportation logistics expertise — and it’s fun.”