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Fiscal finagling funds food shelf

Even in a legislative session marked by a billion-dollar budget shortfall and Paw-lenty of paring back, one lawmaker was able to free up some extra food shelf money to the tune of a half a million dollars.

According to Hunger Solutions Minnesota, which distributes some $1.2 million in state money to food shelves each year,  John Benson, a DLFer from Minnetonka serving his first term, sponsored the bill that got the booty.

The group’s news release quotes Benson as saying, “It’s the responsibility of public officials to meet critical needs, and providing food to those who need it is a critical need.”

One in 17 Minnesotans relies on food shelves, according to Hunger Solutions, with 47 million pounds of food distributed last year to 300 shelves around the state. That marked a 62 percent increase in visits since 2000.

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