SAINT PAUL, Minn. –Today, the Minnesota House Committee on Children and Families Finance and Policy advanced legislation to invest $5 million in emergency funding for food shelf programs in Minnesota.
“A historic budget surplus provides us with a historic opportunity to act immediately to help thousands of Minnesotans struggling with food insecurity,” said Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL-St. Paul), chair of the Children and Families Finance and Policy committee. “This funding is a small part of meeting our obligation to ensure that every person in our community can live with dignity.”
The bill, authored by committee vice chair Rep. Heather Keeler (DFL-Moorhead), would provide one-time funding to fill programming gaps and address rising food costs, so that children and families have the food they need. Longer-term funding is anticipated to be proposed in the upcoming state budget process.
According to Hunger Solutions, Minnesota had a record number of food shelf visits in 2022. Food shelves served 5,285,229 visits from January-November (December visits are still being calculated) which is 1.4 million visits more than the previous record set in 2020. The number of visits reported by agency partners in Second Harvest Heartland’s service area have increased 29% in the last year and surpassed the highest levels from early in the pandemic.
The legislation’s next stop is the House Ways and Means Committee. Committee materials and more information can be found on the committee’s website.