GNP Company®, the Midwest’s leading chicken producer of the Gold’n Plump® and Just BARE® chicken brands, has been named a 2016 Hunger Hero Food Award recipient by Second Harvest Heartland in a ceremony held on March 31 at Second Harvest Heartland’s Golden Valley, Minn., headquarters.

The Hunger Hero Award, now in its seventh year, recognizes organizations that make a “compassionate and transformational impact on people in need in Minnesota and Wisconsin.” GNP Company has supported Second Harvest Heartland for 12 years and was acknowledged as the food bank’s largest food donor in 2015 for donating 1.7 million meals worth of chicken last year.

“As a food company, we appreciate all of the hard work of the Second Harvest Heartland team in building awareness about food insecurity in our local communities,” said Paul Helgeson, sustainability manager for GNP Company. “Good organizations tend to find one another. We appreciate our partnership with Second Harvest Heartland, because they are helping us live our mission of ‘dedicated to healthy food, families, and farms.’”


According to Second Harvest Heartland, which is one of the largest and most efficient food banks in the United States, one in 10 people in Minnesota and western Wisconsin experience the stress of hunger on any given day. The food bank delivered 77 million meals in the region last year.

According to Helgeson, what GNP Company equally appreciates about the partnership is the fact that Second Harvest Heartland serves all three of the communities in which the company operates. “My great-grandfather, E.M. Helgeson, who founded the company 90 years ago, would be very proud that we’re continuing his legacy of supporting our people where they live and work. And, he would be humbled by the size of the donation and impact it made locally,” said Helgeson.