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Lt. Governor Tackling Hunger Issues at 2013 Food Access Summit

August 14, 2013
ST. PAUL, MN – A 2011 study showed that one out of every ten Minnesotans – over 580,000 people – do not always know where they will find their next meal. That means that roughly 100 million meals are missing from the plates of Minnesotans every year.

Hundreds of advocates and policymakers from across Minnesota will gather in Duluth on Thursday, August 15, to discuss strategies to end hunger in our state, and ensure access to nutritious foods for all Minnesotans. Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon will participate in the 2013 Food Access Summit, challenging hunger advocates to collaborate and alleviate hunger in Minnesota.

“Hunger detrimentally impacts communities across our state,” said Lt. Governor Prettner Solon. “The non-profit, Second Harvest estimates that Minnesotans collectively are missing more than 100 million meals each year. By working together, we can develop an innovative, high-impact response to help close the meal gap.”

This session, Governor Mark Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature invested new resources in alleviating hunger in Minnesota. Those efforts included:

Milk Grants – The new state budget invests $1 million in grants to purchase milk at wholesale prices for Feeding America food banks across Minnesota. That milk will then be delivered to food shelves across the state, providing over 3 million servings of milk for hungry Minnesotans. Milk is a highly-requested, highly-desirable item for food shelves because it is a source of calcium, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Food Shelf Funding – The Governor and Legislature provided an additional $750,000 in funding for 275 Minnesota food shelves. Last year, there were more than 3 million visits to these locations.

School Lunch Aid – Sometimes the only healthy meal a child receives is the meal they get for breakfast and lunch in school. That is why this year the Governor and the Legislature invested an additional $1 million in healthy, nutritious lunch for more than 320,000 kids in K-12 schools.

The 2013 Food Access Summit
The 2013 Food Access Summit is a three-day conference that brings together more than 500 hunger and nutrition policymakers and advocates from across Minnesota. During the meeting, attendees will discuss innovative ways to increase access to healthy foods for underserved Minnesotans.

Thursday morning, the Lt. Governor will deliver remarks on strategies to end hunger in Minnesota. In the afternoon, she will visit a new farmers market located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Duluth. Community Action Duluth's Seeds of Success Employment Program organized the new market to increase access to nutritious fruits and vegetables in the community. 

Lt. Governor Remarks on Hunger
The Lt. Governor will speak at the 2013 Food Access Summit to discuss strategies for addressing hunger.

WHO:                   
Lt. Governor Prettner Solon
Hunger and nutrition policymakers and advocates

WHEN:
Thursday, August 15
7:30am to 9:45am
(This includes breakfast for conferees, followed by the Lt. Governor’s remarks)  

WHERE:
Duluth Entertainment Convention Center 
Lake Superior Ballroom
350 Harbor Drive, Duluth, MN 55802

Lincoln Park Farmers Market Visit
The Lt. Governor will visit a new farmers market located in Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.

WHO:
Lt. Governor Prettner Solon
Community Action Duluth

WHEN:
Thursday, August 15
3:30pm

WHERE:
Harrison Community Center
3002 West 3rd Street, Duluth, MN 55806