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Local Organizations to Invest Millions to Address the Racial Hunger Divide

As the Minnesota winter approaches, an estimated 630,000 residents in our state (including one in every six kids) still find themselves food insecure, which the USDA defines as the “lack of consistent access to enough affordable, nutritious food to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle.” And BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) households in Minnesota are anywhere between two to four times more likely to face food insecurity. This is what is known as America’s “hunger divide.”

Recently, Twin Cities-based Second Harvest Heartland, which distributes food to more than 1,000 community food shelves, announced that it will invest $13.2 million over the next five years to directly address the racial hunger divide in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. According to Food Bank News, this effort will include the increased sourcing of culturally specific food items, additional support to BIPOC businesses, improved access to federal nutrition programs such as SNAP and WIC, and research “to better understand which communities need the most help.”

There is more good news as well. On October 1, 2021, Minnesota households that receive SNAP saw the purchasing power of those benefits increase for the first time ever after the USDA re-evaluated how household SNAP benefits are calculated. If you are a resident of Ramsey or Washington counties and think you may qualify for SNAP, please call Community Action’s Food Support program at 651-603-5883, email foodsupport@caprw.org, or visit our Food Support webpage. For those residing in other Minnesota counties that need of food support, please call the Minnesota Food Help Line at 888-711-1151 or connect with a SNAP specialist online at the Minnesota Department of Human Services food helper webpage.

You can also find information of other food assistance programs (WIC, SCFP, TEFAP), locate your local food shelf, and find other vital resources (free meal programs, fresh produce giveaways, farmers markets) by calling Second Harvest Heartland at 888-339-3663 or visiting them online.

Our Impact This Year

  • People Who Received Utility Bill Assistance

    49,780

  • Children Enrolled in Head Start & Early Head Start

    1,622

  • People Whose Utility Bills Were Lowered Through Home Weatherization

    245

  • Workers Provided with Transportation Support Including Vehicle Loans, Repair Grants, and Transit Passes

    1,743

© 2022 Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties

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