Hunger in the Twin Cities is real. In our nine-county metro area, 1 in 10 people struggles to put food on the table.
In the last decade, senior citizens and working families increasingly visited Twin Cities metro area 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 million visits statewide in 2015 – the 5th straight year of over 3 million visits.
More than 6 people visit a food shelf every minute in Minnesota.
Hunger isn’t just an issue in the cities or in rural areas. Visits to suburban food shelves have increased 7% in the last 5 years in the metro area.
Senior hunger on the rise
Seniors are the fastest growing group of food shelf users. The number of seniors visiting food shelves grew 23.7% from 2011 to 2015.
In 2015, community meal programs in the Twin Cities provided over 2 million meals to children, adults, and seniors in need throughout the region. Families and individuals in need can find a free community meal all parts of the metro area.