Minnesota Vikings, Second Harvest Heartland and UnitedHealthcare Team up to Tackle Hunger Among Twin Cities Seniors

Vikings Food & Fund Drive to collect nonperishable food items and financial donations before Vikings-Bears game at Mall of America Field Sunday, Dec. 1

Nov 14, 2013, 10:30 ET from Second Harvest Heartland

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Minnesota Vikings, Second Harvest Heartland and UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, are teaming up once again to help tackle senior hunger in the Twin Cities.

The partnership includes a number of key events. From Nov. 18 to 22, all Twin Cities UnitedHealth Group campuses will host peanut butter donation drives. Peanut butter is inexpensive, high in protein and enjoyed by people of all ages. On Tuesday, Nov. 26, Viktor the Viking, Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders and Vikings players, including Pro Bowl Kicker Blair Walsh, will join UnitedHealthcare employees from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. for a food-packing volunteer project at Second Harvest Heartland West, located at 6325 Sandburg Road in Golden Valley.

The Vikings Food & Fund Drive will take place on Sunday, Dec. 1 from 10:30 a.m.12:30 p.m., prior to the Vikings-Bears game at Mall of America Field. UnitedHealthcare volunteers will collect nonperishable food items and financial donations at all Metrodome entrances to benefit Second Harvest Heartland.

The activities are all part of UnitedHealthcare's "Do Good. Live Well." program, an employee volunteer initiative to help prevent hunger. 

"The Vikings are passionate supporters of hunger relief, and we are proud to partner with Second Harvest Heartland and UnitedHealthcare to again address the critical needs of seniors in our community," said Steve LaCroix, vice president of sales and marketing and chief marketing officer of the Minnesota Vikings.

"It is critical that, as a community, we provide for seniors in need and ensure they have the nutrition to live their lives fully," added Rob Zeaske, CEO of Second Harvest Heartland. "We are grateful for the support of UnitedHealthcare and the Minnesota Vikings as we strive to improve the lives of our local seniors."

"UnitedHealthcare welcomes the opportunity to partner once again with Second Harvest Heartland and the Minnesota Vikings to ensure seniors have access to fresh, nutritious food," said Jack Larsen, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement.

According to AARP, about 9 million older adults nationwide face the threat of hunger. Information from the Current Population Survey shows that from 2001 to 2011, the number of seniors experiencing the threat of hunger increased by 88 percent nationwide. In Second Harvest Heartland's 59-county service area in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, food shelf visits by people 65 and older have more than quadrupled in the past five years. Last year, there were nearly 65,000 senior visits to Second Harvest Heartland food shelf partners.

About Second Harvest Heartland Second Harvest Heartland is one of the nation's largest, most efficient and most innovative food banks.  In 2012, we delivered more than 60 million meals to nearly 1,000 food shelves, pantries and other agency partner programs serving 59 counties in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Second Harvest Heartland helps relieve hunger not only by sourcing, warehousing and distributing food, but through data-driven thought leadership and community partnerships that help improve the region's larger hunger relief system.  For more information, visit www.2harvest.org or call 651.484.5117.

About UnitedHealthcare UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 780,000 physicians and other health care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.


Patty Gibbs Second Harvest Heartland 651.653.7302 patty@pattygibbscompany.com

Jeff Anderson Minnesota Vikings 952.828.6570 andersonj@vikings.nfl.net

Courtney Johnson UnitedHealthcare 952.936.7474 courtney_t_johnson@uhc.com

SOURCE Second Harvest Heartland