Community Spotlight | Second Harvest Heartland


During our Give Points Fill Plates initiative, Caribou Perks members were able to donate 200 points in the Caribou Coffee app, online or in store and Caribou gave $5 to Second Harvest Heartland.

Connection is at the core of all things Caribou Coffee – from the way you gather over Sunday morning coffee with your family to a shared cup with a coworker or friends. Coffee unites us and brings out the best in us – and we want to pay those feelings forward especially in our hometown communities.

The past few years have tested our communities in ways we never could have predicted, but it’s organizations like Second Harvest Heartland that help ease these challenges for those who need it most. “There’s hope in stability,” says Barb Brotherton, Director of Community Engagement at Second Harvest Heartland.

“The stability of a meal, a grocery bill covered, a school lunch provided…When you have that one thing covered, you’re on more stable ground to focus on what’s next.”

caribou coffee employees smiling while packing food at second harvest heartland
Nearly everywhere you’ll find Second Harvest Heartland, you’ll find a Caribou Coffee as well. Over 70% of Caribou Coffee locations in the United States are in communities that Second Harvest Heartland serves.

A helping hand in the Midwest

Second Harvest Heartland partners with nearly a thousand food shelves, meal programs, senior programs and more throughout a 59-county area between Minnesota and western Wisconsin—truly living up to their name by supporting communities in the Midwest. Second Harvest Heartland is just a few blocks down the road from Caribou Coffee’s headquarters, and there’s nothing we love more than partnering with our neighbors in our own backyard.

Together, we can make a difference in the fight to end hunger and solve food insecurity in our shared communities.

Second Harvest Heartland isn’t your average food shelf—it’s a food bank. A food bank focuses mostly on logistics and distribution. Acting as a wholesaler, they source large amounts of food and make it available to smaller, local food shelves and food pantries, so they can provide free groceries and healthy meals to our neighbors experiencing hunger and food insecurity.

hand holding up a caribou coffee cup in front of second harvest heartland's headquarters
Let’s help make 2023 hunger-free.

Ending hunger together

In October 2022, over 40 multi-unit leaders from Caribou Coffee visited Second Harvest Heartland to volunteer and symbolically kick-off our giveback initiative. The team packed 596 Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) boxes and 65 bags of potatoes – that equates to 15,951 meals packed to be given to people in our community experiencing hunger.

And while we love getting our hands dirty, we also put our money where our mouth is—pun intended. During our Give Points Fill Plates initiative, every dollar donated to Second Harvest Heartland resulted in three meals for someone in need. 2022 was our third year teaming up with Second Harvest Heartland for our annual Perks points donation initiative. In 2020, 1,574 Perks members donated their points, which resulted in a $15,000 donation, when combined with Caribou Coffee’s additional contribution. In both 2021 and 2022, we doubled our donation to $30,000, which resulted in 90,000 meals each year.

We know that people right here in the Midwest are relying on organizations like Second Harvest Heartland to address today’s hunger. But, Second Harvest Heartland also recognizes that they can’t fulfill our communities’ needs alone—which is why support is so critical.

“Our mission is to end hunger together,” says Brotherton.

Be a part of our next Give Points Fill Plates initiative and help to end hunger in our community. Join Caribou Perks to start earning points today.