Hunger in our state is real. 1 in 10 people in Minnesota struggle to put food on the table.
In the last decade, senior citizens and working families increasingly visited Minnesota food shelves and meal programs. High housing costs, prescription drug costs, low wage jobs, and unemployment are often cited by these populations as reasons for increased reliance on emergency food sources.
The “new normal” in food shelf visits
The number of visits to food shelves rose dramatically through the recession and has stayed high despite the recovery. Food shelves had 3,327,388 visits statewide in 2016 – the 6th straight year of over 3 million visits.
More than 6 people visit a food shelf every minute in Minnesota.
Senior hunger on the rise
Seniors are the fastest growing group of Minnesota food shelf users. The number of seniors visiting food shelves grew 38.6% from 2012 to 2016.
In 2016, community meal programs in Minnesota provided over 2 million meals to children, adults, and seniors in need throughout the state.