State launches program to help poor buy food

Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon today announced a coalition to provide poor Minnesotans a chance to buy healthy foods.

The Minnesota Nutritious Food Coalition joins state, university, tribal, nonprofits and private business groups.

“More than 500,000 Minnesotans access food support benefits monthly,” Prettner Solon said. “Yet, many more, particularly seniors, are eligible for the program. The guidance, work and support of this coalition will encourage more Minnesotans to take advantage of this program so they can get the nutritious food needed for a healthy lifestyle, not to mention strengthen our local economy.”

The main jobs of the coalition are to address food access issues, increase participation in the federally funded food support program, identify barriers and areas for expansion. It plans an effort to make sure all Minnesotans who are eligible for the federal program have a chance to apply.

The food support program, which used to be known as food stamps, now only serves 65 percent of eligible Minnesotans, the state Human Services Department reports.

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