The head of Minnesota's Department of Human Services wants more people to sign up for food stamps.
According to the DHS, around 65 percent of eligible Minnesotans are signed up for Food Support in Minnesota, which is what food stamps are now called. Seniors are a particular priority for the department.
Convincing low-income Minnesotans to participate in the program is an important part of making healthy food available to everyone, said Lucinda Jesson, DHS commissioner.
"I don't want any child, any person in Minnesota to go to bed hungry. Our goal is we want 100 percent of the people who are eligible for Food Support in the state to be on the program," Jesson said.
"We know the short and long term effects of poor nutrition and limited access to food, and they are devastating."
Jesson spoke at a state-organized forum about increasing access to healthy food. About 75 state officials, nonprofit leaders, health educators, and local food advocates attended the conference at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.