A report on Minnesota hunger issues indicates that thousands of people across the state struggle to put enough food on their tables.
The report from Hunger Solutions Minnesota notes that 8,500 people each day relied on food shelves around the state.
The report says (PDF):
While Minnesota’s economic climate continues to improve, thousands of families still struggle with hunger because of poverty, food access difficulties and a lack of education about nutrition assistance benefits. Simultaneously, community food shelves are stretched to the limit.
And the need for food assistance includes suburban and exurban areas: In the Twin Cities metro area, Dakota, Isanti and Carver counties have seen the highest rise in food shelf use over the past ﬁve years, the report says.
A public education effort has helped many Minnesotans realize that they qualify for the federal Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), but the group worries about efforts in the U.S. House to cut the program by $40 billion.
Colleen Moriarty, executive director of Hunger Solutions Minnesota, said:
“Access to nutritious food is the most fundamental element that contributes to the success of healthy communities, and many of our elected officials – including more than half of the Minnesota Delegation – agree that SNAP should not be reduced. We believe these proposed cuts would be disastrous for thousands of Minnesota families, particularly those that are just now getting back on their feet following the economic downturn.”