This past Thursday, Minnesota Community Action Partnership (MinnCAP), the umbrella organization for the state’s 24 Community Action agencies and 11 tribal nations, released the Minnesota Poverty Report 2022. This new report, created in partnership with the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, underscores the increasing social and economic disparities that plague far too many residents of the North Star State, especially African American and Indigenous households.
Of particular note are the findings that for a significant number of low-income Minnesotans, the costs to meet basic needs such as food, housing, childcare, healthcare, and transportation, “are too high to be offset by federal assistance programs.” Therefore, MinnCAP is calling on the Minnesota legislature to immediately implement three specific policy initiatives to address poverty statewide. These proposed initiatives would:
- Increase the eligibility threshold for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level to assure that more food-insecure families are served.
- Invest immediately to address the affordable housing crisis throughout Minnesota by taking advantage of the historic budget surplus.
- Create a new Poverty Commission, through Gov. Walz’s executive authority, to end poverty in Minnesota by the end of this decade, with a focus on income disparities in BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities.
MinnCAP Executive Director Bill Grant explains that these recommendations “will help build community resilience, address the causes of poverty, and enhance financial stability,” while adding:
“This Poverty Report elevates the lack of resources and programs across the state. Where federal assistance programs fall short, the state needs resources and investments to lift Minnesotans out of poverty.”
For more details, including access to the full report, the April 7, 2022 press release announcing the report, and other contact information, please visit Minnesota Community Action Partnership.