Why We Walk
· Hunger in Minnesota has doubled in the last 5 years. There is a steep rise in need for emergency food programs. We have seen record increases in visits to food shelves, use in Food Stamps and enrollment in the free and reduced school meal programs. **Hunger Free Minnesota data
· Visits to suburban food shelves have increased 90% in the past 3 years. Food shelf directors report seeing an increase in veterans and highly-educated people seeking assistance. There are a lot of people coming into food shelves seeking advice because they have now run upon the end of their unemployment insurance (more than 99 weeks) and have nowhere else to turn. **Hunger Solutions Minnesota Data
· Child poverty in Minnesota has increased 62% since 2000. Working families are making less and cannot afford healthy food for their children. For a family of four, $22,350 or less is considered below poverty. Twin city food shelves have been serving a lot of families like Sarah and her children. **Children's Defense Fund data
o For the past four years, the food shelf has provided my kids with meals every month, birthday bags each birthday, and even Christmas gifts and a Christmas meal. Sometimes I would not have had a meal for them if it was not for VEAP. - Sarah
· There are 88,000 seniors at risk for hunger in Minnesota. Low income seniors and retirees are facing the unfortunate choice of paying the bills or buying enough food. The cold weather months add to the financial burdens because of fuel bills. **Second Harvest Heartland data
o A Vietnam Veteran recently called the Minnesota Food HelpLine seeking help because he was not eating well and his health was being affected. "With your assistance, I've been able to eat healthy food. I am so grateful for your help. I've served in the military and worked for over 30 years, and to have help like this - it restores my faith in Minnesota. I can't thank you enough."