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 site, 2018 Farm bill: Minnesota’s nutrition programs
, also features an interactive county map and congressional district data.
Authorization for these two U.S. Department of Agriculture Programs – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) – expires in September 2018. Congress authorizes funding and policies for these programs in the federal farm bill; they are overseen in Minnesota by the state Department of Human Services (DHS).
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,” Piper said.
In 2016, more than 645,000 Minnesotans received SNAP benefits to buy food at stores and farmer’s markets. Seventy percent of recipients are children, seniors and people with disabilities. Many are working but still have incomes low enough to qualify for the program. SNAP recipients are below 165 percent of the federal poverty level, about $34,000 a year for a family of three. The average SNAP benefit per person per meal is $1.17.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program provides nutritious food for community food shelves and on-site meal programs serving Minnesotans with low incomes. In 2016, Minnesotans visited food shelves 3.3 million times.
The department’s new web page will continue to be updated as more information becomes available. Information on all of Minnesota’s nutritional programs and supports can be found on the department’s food and nutrition web page.