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      Fighting Hunger in Minnesota

      Posted on November 22, 2012 at 8:00 AM

      Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon and Community Nutrition Educator Jennifer Dehn volunteer at a SNAP event.

      Combining commitment and effort is proving to be a successful recipe for helping hungry Minnesotans eat more nutritiously. The Nutritious Food Coalition, a public-private partnership launched by Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon at the beginning of 2012, has worked to increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, for low-income Minnesotans.

      More than 40 organizations, including the Minnesota Department of Human Services, other state and county agencies, University of Minnesota, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, social service organizations, businesses, nonprofits and advocacy agencies are coming together with a common goal: to increase access to nutritious food for those who need it most.

      These efforts have been recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for significant improvement in making SNAP more accessible to Minnesotans in need and have resulted in more than 41,000 additional Minnesotans receiving access to healthy food in 2011. Currently more than 500,000 Minnesotans access SNAP benefits.

      As a first line of defense against hunger, SNAP, which is federally funded, provides the much-needed, temporary help with groceries so that low-income Minnesotans can put nutritious, healthy food on their tables. With proper nutrition, children learn more easily, adults work more productively, and seniors are healthier and more apt to maintain their independence. With increased SNAP participation, the economy also improves.

      For more information about SNAP, visit the website or call the Minnesota Food Helpline at 1-888-711-1151 or contact your county social services agency.