7/23/2021 12:09:43 PM
[ST. PAUL, MN] – Using authority granted in a bipartisan bill passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Tim Walz, Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm and Department of Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead today signed a joint disaster declaration, which will be submitted along with Minnesota’s application for Emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (E-SNAP) funding. Today’s declaration ensures Minnesotans will continue to receive $45 million in monthly emergency food assistance benefits for over 550,000 Minnesotans.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is expected to approve an agreement that preserves $45 million per month in E-SNAP funding for Minnesotans who need help buying groceries, even after the state’s peacetime emergency ended on July 1.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the physical, emotional, and financial health of Minnesotans, putting their ability to pay for essentials like groceries at risk,” said Governor Walz. “We are committed to ensuring our neighbors are able to continue putting food on the table for their families as we recover from this public health crisis.”
Minnesota’s agreement with the USDA was first announced in late June by Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan as part of an orderly wind down of the state’s COVID-19 peacetime emergency. The Walz-Flanagan Administration worked directly with the USDA and Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to identify this different path to meet federal requirements. The USDA will inform the state when it approves Minnesota’s application, allowing emergency food assistance to continue without interruption.
“As we look toward recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that Minnesotans do not go hungry as they return to work, school, and play is foundational to health and continues to be essential work,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “This agreement preserves our ability to keep food on the table for Minnesota’s children, families, and seniors.”
“Help is available for Minnesotans who need food assistance during the pandemic,” said Commissioner Harpstead. “As the country’s most effective anti-hunger program, SNAP offers vital support to Minnesotans. We are doing all we can at the state level to continue to provide this much-needed benefit for Minnesota families.”
Since March 2020, Minnesota has received over $547 million in increased SNAP benefits that helps approximately 234,000 households each month. These benefits have brought millions of dollars into the state and have supported Minnesotans struggling to afford nutritious food for themselves and their families during the pandemic.
For more information on SNAP, visit the state’s COVID-19 emergency food support webpage . The Minnesota Food Helpline provides assistance to people seeking food and application help at 1-888-711-1151.