$447,000 raised for food shelves across Minnesota and Western Wisconsin

Money will benefit Second Harvest Heartland who distribute food to over 400 local food shelves
Let's Kick Hunger Day, Jason DeRusha, Chris Finch
Jason DeRusha and Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch at Second Harvest Heartland's Distribution Center in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota during Let's Kick Hunger Day. Photo credit (Audacy / Lindsey Peterson)

WCCO and Second Harvest presented the 14th Annual “Let’s Kick Hunger” Day Thursday with the goal to raise money to stock food shelves across Minnesota. WCCO listeners helped raise over $447,560 in the one day fundraising event.

“This community is great at showing up for one another and today’s 14th annual Let’s Kick Hunger Day radiothon was no exception," said Second Harvest Heartland CEO Allison O'Toole. "It takes all of us to keep our neighbors fed and we’re so grateful to WCCO listeners, radiothon callers and our sponsors from Compeer Financial, Land O’ Lakes and Lindus Construction for going above and beyond to end hunger. The WCCO radio team made it all possible, volunteering on the phones and sharing air time for the day and together we provided needed meals to many neighbors. What a day!”

The money raised in 2023, along with 2022 and 2021, eclipsed radiothons prior to the pandemic as listeners across Minnesota stepped up to support the effort. The rising cost of food and a 30% increase in demand at food shelves means Americans are facing a significant hunger surge once more.

O'Toole told WCCO that the need has grown significantly, with 5.7 million food bank visits in 2022.

WCCO Radio began broadcasting at 6:00a.m. with morning show host Vineeta Sawker and continued until 6:00p.m. with Jordana Green, Adam Carter and Jason DeRusha encouraging people to donate and support Second Harvest Heartland.

“Year after year our fans open up their hearts to those in need,” said Jeff Gonsales, Audacy Minneapolis Vice President and Market Manager. “Lives are being impacted in significant ways and we are incredibly grateful. WCCO’s long-standing partnership with Second Harvest Heartland means so much to us and to so many people who are helped by this community effort.”

Nearly half of our neighbors in Minnesota and Wisconsin—47%—are relying on food assistance for the very first time.

WCCO hosts spoke to a number of local volunteers with both Second Harvest and food shelves throughout the day, along with some local celebrities who are passionate about solving the hunger crisis.

Thursday’s Let’s Kick Hunger Day was generously supported by sponsors including Lindus Construction, Land O’ Lakes and Compeer Financial, along with the Minnesota Twins, Tumble Fresh Coin Laundry, the Minnesota Corn Growers, and Culligan Water.

If you'd like to support Second Harvest Heartland and Let's Kick Hunger Day, click here!

Featured Image Photo Credit: (Audacy / Lindsey Peterson)