Many Minnesota food shelves are stocked this fall with foods they rarely offered two decades ago: squash, peas, watermelon, strawberries. That has some food shelf directors wishing they could make it last into the winter.
A poor apple harvest that resulted from bad weather and the drought will likely be a tough blow to hunger relief organizations that rely on orchards for donations.
Many potato farmers in the Clear Lake area donate to hunger-relief groups, helping them capture the millions of pounds of produce from Minnesota fields that would otherwise go to waste.
Prisoners at the Red Wing minimum-security prison plant vegetables often left to the serious gardener: kale, Swiss chard, purple carrots, chocolate-colored peppers. They spend hours poring over seed catalogs, steamy afternoons weeding. They donate the surplus to the local food shelf. The problem is, not everyone at the food shelf knows what to do with chard.
New health rankings identify what percent of low-income residents live far from a grocery store.
Leaders of Minnesota’s Republican Party are denouncing harassing phone calls and emails received by Rep. Mary Franson , R-Alexandria, in the wake of a video Franson released last week in which she seemed to compare food stamp recipients to animals. Franson later apologized and the video was removed, but the controversy continues.
The annual March food drive by Minnesota FoodShare has become a lifeline for many of the state’s 300 food shelves looking ahead to months of high need.
A program that hires low-income Duluth residents to transform urban lots into vegetable gardens will begin selling produce in neighborhoods to address “food deserts.”
In search of new food sources, many food banks have increased their rescue programs, picking up food that would otherwise be thrown in the trash at retailers like Cub Foods and Target. A Duluth food bank also collects from schools, caterers and hospitals.
Minnesota will no longer call refer to food stamps as Food Support. Instead, the Department of Human Services will use the federal designation: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Many call it SNAP.