This past Monday people from all across the state gathered at the Capitol to advocate for hunger relief in Minnesota. At the third annual Hunger Day on The Hill there were many important issues being discussed. One of the great things about this event is that it brings together people who are working towards the same goal, as Hunger Day on The Hill Speaker Vayong Moua said: “It’s not just about talking with legislators, it’s about strengthening your allyship with the people around you.” Below are the issues brought up to legislators this year at Hunger Day on the Hill.
Mobile Food Shelves
Mobile food shelves are a creative twist on traditional food shelves that bring the food right to the people who need it. Mobile food shelves take away the stress that can occur when trying to find transportation to a food shelf. There are currently 22 food shelves in Minnesota that are interested in starting or expanding mobile food shelves that don’t have any funding at this time. With an increasing population over the age of 65, the need for programs like mobile food shelves will continue to increase. This year at Hunger Day on the Hill lawmakers were asked to renew funding for mobile food shelves for existing and new programs.
Food Shelf Funding Increase
Food insecurity continues to be a burden that affects thousands of Minnesotans. Food shelf visits have increased among all age groups by 5.9 percent from 2011 to 2015, with these visits staying above 3 million visits per year for the last 5 years. In order to alleviate hunger in Minnesota, it is being asked that there be a $1 million per biennium increase in funding to food shelves.
Good Food Access Fund
The Good Food Access Fund was created to support the sale of healthy, affordable food to places in Minnesota that are lacking access to those foods. One of the main goals of the project is to assist places of business that are selling nutritious and affordable food in locations where it might not otherwise be available. It is estimated that 235,000 Minnesota live more than 10 miles away from a grocery store, supermarket, or supercenter. In order to keep access to healthy food in all areas of Minnesota, The Good Food Access Fund is asking for an increase in funding so that they can continue their work.