Second Harvest Heartland

Brooklyn Park, Minnesota

Second Harvest Heartland (SHH) is a non-profit that distributes nearly 90 million pounds of food and grocery products to the community every year. Its leased facilities were at capacity and did not support its goal to distribute double the amount of food to the community. SHH also needed a multi-functional facility that is both welcoming to volunteers and community partners and lends to relationship building. The LEO A DALY design team conducted a needs assessment process with each department and facilitated several strategic and planning work sessions with multiple stakeholders to build consensus and develop a cohesive design plan. The final list of goals was established and a 220,000-SF warehouse shell was repurposed.

The new facility includes areas for food sorting, prepping and packing by thousands of volunteers annually; cooler space and freezer space to increase capacity of fresh foods distributed; expanded ambient warehouse space; office and community meeting space; and an on-site food pantry.

SHH desired a design that conveyed a sense of community and connecting to its mission of ending hunger through community partnerships. The design features glass walls throughout the facility to connect the welcome center to the volunteer center and the food warehouse, creating a visual connection from the volunteers and staff back to the food. Office areas are open, and the staff break area is shared by office, warehouse and production staff.


Second Harvest Heartland

At a glance

233,000 SF building repurposing

Box-in-a-box freezer and cooler space

Collaborative office workspace


Volunteer Center to host 200 volunteers per shift

Community program support space

Office and support areas for 200 employees and 50 office volunteers

150,000-SF distribution center with five temperature zones


Site evaluation




Interior design

Refrigeration engineering

Structural, mechanical, electrical and civil engineering

Construction administration services