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New coalition to ensure access to healthy food

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Minnesota Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon
Minnesota Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon announces the launch of the Minnesota Nutritious Food Coalition. The coalition is a public-private partnership that aims to ensure more low-income Minnesotans can buy healthy food.
MPR Photo/Julie Siple

Minnesota's lieutenant governor today announced a new coalition to ensure all Minnesotans have access to healthy food.

The Minnesota Nutritious Food Coalition is focused on signing eligible people up for food stamps, called Food Support in Minnesota. Currently, 65 percent of eligible Minnesotans are on food stamps. Fewer than half of eligible seniors are signed up. No one should go hungry and this program can help, said, Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon.

"We, in the governor's office, want those who are eligible for the program, particularly senior citizens to take advantage of it to make sure they are getting the meals they need," Prettner Solon said. "We want 100 percent of those eligible for Food Support to receive it."

The new coalition includes the state, anti-hunger groups, and the General Mills Foundation, which gave $200,000 toward an outreach campaign. The state is also piloting an online application.

"Food support participation is so important for our state, both in terms of the nutritional and the health benefits that it gives to individuals," Pretter Solon said, "but also for the immensely positive effect that it has on our state's economy."

Each dollar from the federally-funded program generates $1.73 in local economic activity, she said.