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Second Harvest Heartland Honors Hunger Hero David Nasby

Inaugural Director's Award presented at 2009 Dish benefit

SAINT PAUL, Minn., May 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Second Harvest Heartland, the Upper Midwest's largest hunger-relief organization, has honored David Nasby, former vice president of the General Mills Foundation and founder of the nation's first food bank network, with its inaugural Hunger Heroes Director's Award. The award recognizes outstanding individual contributions to hunger relief.

"I am humbled to receive this award. I accept it gratefully and in honor of all those who continue to struggle to feed themselves and their families," said Nasby. "Much has been accomplished in the fight to end hunger in the past 25 years, but much is yet to be done. I hope that by calling attention to my efforts through this award, others will be inspired to join this fight so that we might all see an end to hunger in our lifetime."

The first-ever Hunger Heroes Director's Award was presented during Second Harvest Heartland's annual Dish benefit gala, which was held on Thursday, April 30 at the Hilton Minneapolis and which, this year, raised $366,900 to help end hunger in the Heartland. Ellen Luger, current vice president and director of the General Mills Foundation, introduced Nasby, and Rob Zeaske, executive director of Second Harvest Heartland, presented him with the award. General Mills, a long-time supporter of hunger relief efforts nationwide and an ongoing and dedicated partner of Second Harvest Heartland, sponsored the evening's benefit gala.

"Without question, the hunger relief system both in Minnesota and nationwide would not be what it is today were it not for the ingenuity, compassion, hard work, and humanity of David Nasby. Second Harvest Heartland is deeply grateful for the hope that David's efforts have instilled in others," said Zeaske. "It is an honor to recognize David with Second Harvest Heartland's inaugural Hunger Heroes Director's Award."

Several local dignitaries, including, among others, Dick Goebel, founding executive director of the Twin Cities food banks now called Second Harvest Heartland, who worked closely with David in conceiving a systematic hunger relief program; Gene Frey, retired CEO of Waldorf Corporation and founder of the Frey Foundation; and Peter Heegaard, founder and retired managing principal of Wells Fargo subsidiary Lowry Hill and a board member of the One Percent Club, also released statements in person and in absentia celebrating David's dedication to systematic hunger relief and social justice in general.

"David is very clear in his personal passion to provide basic needs to people in poverty and about the need to involve others in making the idea of ending hunger a reality," said Goebel. To David I say, 'God bless you. You are a servant leader.'"

"David is a person who really cares and who really knows how to bring people together to solve problems," said Frey. "I want to congratulate him on this high honor and to tell him that I, among a lot of people, am in no way surprised that he's receiving this award. He's very deserving."

"David's list of accomplishments goes on and on. He has undeniably enriched the community. Congratulations on this award, David. We salute you for truly being a man for all seasons," said Heegaard.

Inspired by his Peace Corps service as a young man, David Nasby's life has been focused professionally and personally on helping those in need. He is credited with creating the first food banks in Minnesota as well as the national network of food banks known today as Feeding America; he is a recognized leader in promoting sustainable hunger relief; and he is the retired vice president of the General Mills Foundation. A video tribute to David Nasby is available online at

About Second Harvest Heartland

Second Harvest Heartland is the Upper Midwest's largest hunger-relief organization, with a mission of ending hunger through community partnerships. 41 million pounds of grocery products were distributed last year to hungry seniors, families and children through more than 960 non-profit member agencies and programs, including food shelves, soup kitchens, shelters, senior centers, faith-based organizations, and children's after-school programs serving 59 counties in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. For each $1 donated, Second Harvest Heartland can distribute more than $9 worth of grocery products for those in need. For further information, visit or call 651.484.5117.

SOURCE Second Harvest Heartland
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