Minnesota invests $5 million in food banks ahead of holidays
ST. PAUL, Minn. (Valley News Live) - Minnesota has a growing food insecurity need. Experts project the state will surpass a total of 7 million food shelf visits by the end of this year, a new state record. Some holiday help is on the way to food distributors across the state.
“Households made 5.5 million visits to Minnesota food shelves in 2022. It’s anticipated the total number for 23 will be closer to 7 million,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Human Services Jodi Harpstead.
Harrowing numbers from the Minnesota Department of Human Services as Minnesotans battle high costs across the board.
“Households made 5.5 million visits to Minnesota food shelves in 2022. It’s anticipated the total number for 23 will be closer to 7 million,” explains Allison O’Toole, CEO of Second Harvest Heartland.
It’s a problem that’s got the hands of Second Harvest Heartland tied.
“We can’t afford to be patient because the surge in need proves that we have to work differently.”
Thankfully, help is on the way just in time for the holiday season. Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan announced a $5 million dollar investment from the state to help food banks deal with increased demand. Funded by ARPA dollars, the boost will be distributed across the state’s 7 regional food banks.
“These food shelves, funds can be used to purchase the most in demand foods for families like milk and eggs, meat and produce,” Flanagan said.
Funding that Flanagan believes will make a noticeable difference in every corner of the state.
“This is a powerful life-changing work and we cannot take keeping people’s bellies full for granted.”
Second Harvest Heartland, which serves the metro and other parts of the state, reported it expects 2 million more visits to its food shelves this year than last.
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