Increase in visits to Minnesota food shelves during the Pandemic
Minnesota’s food shelves saw a big jump in need in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic instability, according to an annual report released Friday.
Hunger Solutions Minnesota, which collects data from 350 food shelves across the state, said they saw a record 3.8 million visits in 2020, up 7% from the year before, led by a 31% jump in visits by older people.
Those numbers represent both the “great need” statewide, and the “great work” by programs to adapt how they provide services and to take advantage of state and federal COVID-19 relief funding, said Colleen Moriarity, the group’s executive director. Hunger Solutions distributed $21 million of that aid money to food programs across the state.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul area saw the greatest increase in need for food. Visits were up 17% overall and 39% among older residents in Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis.