Healthy F.O.O.D Banking

Healthy F.O.O.D Banking



A hungry person is more likely to experience poor health as a result of poor nutrition.  A person in poor health is more likely to experience a range of secondary adverse effects including but not limited to loss of income and resulting food insecurity.  In 2012, the Second Harvest Heartland Board recognized the importance of nutrition to the health of its clients with the adoption of a statement of commitment to source and distribute a variety of healthy foods. 

Second Harvest Heartland in collaboration with the University of Minnesota are developing a system to sort and weigh foods that are distributed by Second Harvest Heartland in order to measure the healthfulness. To support regional and national scalability of such tools, the standard Feeding America Food Bank Codes are being used.  

The purpose of this work is to:

  1. Increase awareness of the importance of healthy food
  2. Strengthen a commitment to sourcing and distributing healthy food
  3. Create a positive change in the nutritional value of food being brought into emergency food relief streams

Timeline: March 2016 through December 2016

Research Team


This study is funded by Target Foundation.

Relevant Publications

Robert King, Cael Warren, Colin Cureton, Courtney Hoolihan, Katherine Y. Grannon, Marilyn S. Nanney. How  healthy is hunger relief food? Amer. J. Agr. Econ., 98(2):533-548 Read the abstract. 

Marilyn S. Nanney, Katherine Y. Grannon, Colin Cureton, Courtney Hoolihan, Mark Janowiec, Qi Wang, Cael Warren, Robert King. Application of the Healthy Eating Index-2010 to the Hunger Relief System. Public Health Nutrition, 2016. May 25:1-9. [Epub ahead of print] Read the Abstract.

Katherine Y. Grannon, Courtney Hoolihan, Qi Wang, Cael Warren, Robert P. King, and Marilyn S. Nanney. Comparing the Application of the Healthy Eating Index–2005 and the Healthy Eating Index–2010 in the Food Shelf Setting. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition. In Press. 


Feeding America Foods to Encourage