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Food shelves see higher usage than during the pandemic

by Trinity Gruenberg

Local food shelves have seen an extra strain as record numbers are paying them a visit.

Statistics from Feeding America show 338,000 people are facing hunger in Minnesota and of them 121,140 are children. That is one in 17 people and one in 11 is a child. They estimate needing $181,349,000 more per year to meet the food needs.

The University of Minnesota Healthy Foods Healthy Lives Institute shows that Wadena County has a food insecurity rate of 12 percent, and Todd County 10 percent, which is a high amount (

Second Harvest Heartland reported 53 million people across the U.S. turned to food shelves in 2021. The need for fresh fruits and vegetables went up 27 percent compared to the height of the pandemic.

Second Harvest Heartland reported food shelf visits so far this year are 45 percent higher than the same period in 2019 and 2021.

SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) applications through September of 2022 were up 47 percent compared to 2021, 58 percent compared to 2020, and 213 percent compared to 2019. . .


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