Federal Budget Could Affect Minnesota Nutrition Programs
In 2016, Minnesotans visited food shelves 3.3 million times.
A new website highlights information about federal nutrition programs that help ensure hundreds of thousands of Minnesota’s children, seniors and people with disabilities have dinner every night.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services oversees two U.S. Department of Agriculture programs to prevent hunger: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Authorization for these two programs expires in September 2018.
In 2016, more than 645,000 Minnesotans received SNAP benefits to purchase foods at stores and farmer’s markets. Seventy percent of recipients are children, seniors and people with disabilities. Many work but still have incomes low enough to qualify for the programs. SNAP recipients are below 165 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $34,000 annually for a family of three. The average SNAP benefit per person per meal is $1.17.
SNAP and TEFAP are a critical part of ensuring Minnesotans receive the food they need, said Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper.
“When Minnesotans have the means to meet their basic needs for nutrition, children learn more easily, adults work more productively and seniors maintain healthier, more independent lives,” said Piper.
TEFAP provides nutritious food for community food shelves and on-site meal programs serving Minnesotans with low incomes.
For more information visit their website at https://mn.gov/dhs/farm-bill/.