The Need for Food Assistance On The Rise Again in Minnesota
This isn’t a political statement, it’s a fact statement. Nearly everything that you normally buy costs you more money than what it used to. I read somewhere recently that people making over $100,000 per year are now living paycheck to paycheck and shopping at stores like Dollar General and Dollar Tree to make their money go further.
For many of us, we’ve cut back on things we used to use like Cable T.V., streaming channels, eating out and more. Good thing for us we’ve got The Value Connection, and right now there are half-price deals to save you even more.
Unfortunately for some people, even The Value Connection is not an option. They depend on food pantries or food shelves to provide or be a supplement for the food they eat.
Hungersolutions.org reported that in 2022, the use of food shelves in Minnesota went up from 2021 by 2 million visits, to over 5 million. Reports state that the expectation is that this year the total number of visits to the food shelves around the state is on pace to go above 7 million this year.
According to feedingamerica.org, Minnesota has 390,000 people in the state facing hunger, and over 120,000 of that number are children.
Minnesota is said to have 470 food shelf locations that serve people around the state. The Star Tribune reports that in St. Paul, Neighborhood House says they are spending $7,000 more per month on food than they were just 2 years ago.
It’s not uncommon for food shelves to not have enough food to meet the demand in their area. Some organizations are having to cut back on the amount of food they give to families to try and help as many as possible.
According to the Census Bureau, food insecurity is brought on by poverty, and that 38 million Americans are classified as living in poverty.
Food Shelves are available to any resident in Minnesota who self-reports that they are at or below 300% of the federal poverty guidelines. In 2022, just under 10% of Minnesota residents were below the poverty level.
And that doesn’t count the people who are living paycheck to paycheck. According to published reports nearly 60% of Americans say they are spending nearly all the money they make to cover their essentials with little to no money left over.
The State of Minnesota receives over $4.5 million in funding each year to purchase food and that money is given to 7 regional food banks to help feed those who don’t have enough to eat.
If you want to donate to an organization that is trying to bridge the gap of food insecurity, most have a way to do so on their websites, or at least have information on their website on how you can help.
Take a Walk on a Trail from St. Cloud to Sauk Rapids