Thousands of Minnesotans Struggled Against Hunger Last Year
St. Paul, Minnesota, August 4, 2013 - Almost one in nine Minnesota households reported serious problems getting enough to eat at some point last year, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture today.
Of the 228,000 Minnesota households experiencing this food insecurity, 45 percent experienced very low food security – meaning that one or more household members had to reduce their food intake at least some time in 2012.
“The increase in the number of households struggling against hunger clearly shows that too many of Minnesota’s families are unable to make ends meet,” said Minnesota Budget Project Director Nan Madden. “It’s further proof that food assistance remains critical for thousands of Minnesotans.”
One of the most powerful weapons against hunger is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Currently, 276,404 Minnesota households, including parents, children, seniors, people with disabilities and others, use SNAP.
SNAP benefits are modest. On average, SNAP provides about $8 a day for a household and $4 for a person. That small amount makes a big difference. In 2011 alone, SNAP helped to lift 4.7 million Americans, including 2.1 million children, out of poverty.
Yet, as early as next week, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to consider legislation that would significantly cut SNAP by $40 billion over 10 years. It would eliminate SNAP benefits for at least 41,000 Minnesotans. That’s on top of an already scheduled $5 billion cut to SNAP beginning November 1.
“The proposed cuts to SNAP are incredibly misguided,” Madden said. “They would increase hunger among Minnesotans who struggle to put food on the table in the wake of the Great Recession.”
The USDA’s full report is online.