On April 1, 1922, The Helping Hand Society was established in Minneapolis, Minnesota by Fred P. Nash and Willis K. Nash, founders of the Nash Finch Company. The purpose of the society was "the care of the sick, aged and disabled, ministering to the needs of the poor, and for the advancement or promotion and administration of charitable and benevolent aims." Initial contributions to the society's endowment were made by the Nash family and the Nash Finch Company. In 1931, the name of the foundation was changed to The Nash Foundation.
Early efforts of the foundation were in support of services for the blind, to help needy employees of the Nash Finch Company, and in support of the United Fund, the Red Cross and other charitable projects in the Upper Midwest.
The Nash Foundation is no longer affiliated with the Nash Finch Company and operates as a private, family foundation.
In spite of the dispersal of the family over the last half century to many other parts of the country, The Nash Foundation continues with an active board. The purposes of the founders, set forward over 80 years ago, continue to guide the Foundation in the twenty-first century.