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COVID-19 News

Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan are committed to protecting the health, safety, and well-being of Minnesotans during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have taken decisive action to curb the spread of COVID-19, support health care providers and facilities, and mitigate the impact on Minnesota families. On this page you will find the latest press releases, statements, and other information on COVID-19.

Governor Walz, Lt. Governor Flanagan Announce $12 Million Effort to Combat Hunger in Minnesota

Discuss continued need for hunger relief efforts

7/8/2020 10:58:15 AM

[ST. PAUL, MN] – At the Department of Indian Work food shelf today, Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan announced $12 million to combat hunger in Minnesotan amid COVID-19. This funding will support approximately 300 food shelves and all seven food banks across Minnesota.

“No Minnesotan should go to bed hungry or be forced to learn on an empty stomach,” said Governor Walz. “I want to thank our partners who have done incredible work to fight hunger in Minnesota, and the food shelves and food banks that have stepped up to serve families across the state throughout this pandemic.”

Approximately 300 thousand Minnesotans have visited food shelves each month since the pandemic began, representing approximately a 30 percent increase over typical visits. Food banks are distributing approximately 2.4 million pounds of food per week, representing a 20-40 percent increase since 2019. The $12 million in emergency support for food shelves, food banks, and other emergency food efforts across the state will help meet this unprecedented demand.

“Food shelves and banks across the state have stepped up to meet the increased food needs of Minnesotans,” said Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan. “This support will make sure that children and families, seniors, people experiencing homelessness, Native communities, communities of color, and all Minnesotans who need a bit of relief can put food on the table during these challenging months.”

Made possible by the CARES Act, this funding was proposed by the Governor and has now been approved by the Legislative Advisory Commission.

The Governor has directed a total of $75 million in federal coronavirus relief aid toward food security, which reaches 500,000 people each month, providing approximately 1 million meals. The funding allows around 350,000 children enrolled in free and reduced-price school meals to continue to get meals during the summer through an extension of the federal pandemic EBT program; enables emergency food shelves to safely distribute food using social distancing guidelines; and delivers meals to more than 14,500 older adults with no other source of food for at least one of their meals each month.

Other efforts to ensure access to food include:

  • Expanding community-based meal access for children, youth, and adults experiencing increased food insecurity as a result of COVID-19;
  • Providing food assistance and essential non-food products to approximately 27,000 members of tribal nations and urban Indian communities experiencing adverse health and economic impacts of COVID-19;
  • Continuing to use dozens of COVID-response waivers from the USDA to implement alternative mechanisms to get food to people in need, including elimination of paperwork, in-person meetings and other requirements that would be difficult or impossible to meet under social distancing restrictions.

Information about food assistance resources is available on the state’s food emergency webpage. Minnesotans can fill out a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) application online at For help applying or additional food resources, contact the Food Helpline at 1-888-711-1151 or visit Hunger Solutions. By July 31, 2020, eligible families can request additional P-EBT benefits, which are SNAP benefits for families with school children who qualify for the federal free and reduced-price meal program. Apply at

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