Nutritious Food Coalition

Joining forces to ensure Minnesotans in need get food

Who we are

The Nutritious Food Coalition is a public-private partnership to raise awareness and increase participation in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and provide guidance on means of better serving Minnesotans in need of healthy food. The coalition is comprised of more than 50 experts from a range of organizations.

The coalition meets quarterly to address food access issues, increase participation in SNAP, identify barriers and areas for expansion, and develop a coordinated outreach effort to ensure all Minnesotans who are eligible for the program have an opportunity to apply for it.

Coalition goals include:

  • • Identify barriers and means of increasing food access
  • • Provide guidance on ways to better serve Minnesotans in need of healthy food, particularly seniors
  • • Raise awareness about SNAP
  • • Educate people on eating nutritiously and cost effectively
  • • Increase participation in the SNAP program.
    The coalition will measure the success of these efforts by an increase in participation among program-eligible Minnesotans.
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    Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon

    "More than 500,000 Minnesotans access food support benefits monthly," said Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon, who was instrumental in launching the Nutritious Food Coalition in 2012.

    "Yet, many more, particularly seniors, are eligible for the program.The guidance, work and support of this coalition will encourage more Minnesotans to take advantage of SNAP so they can purchase the nutritious food they need to maintain healthy lifestyles."

    Outreach agencies share information about the nutrition benefits, explain program processes and assist with applications to help those eligible make informed decisions.

     

    Statewide outreach includes:

  • • More than 20 agencies, which are Food and Nutrition Service grant recipients and are part of Minnesota’s formal state outreach plan.
  • • Staff recruitment of local partners to conduct outreach.
  • • Coordination among the Minnesota Department of Human Services and counties to provide the “infrastructure” for material updates, supplies, training and communications.
  • • Free nutrition education materials and classes (SNAP-Education) through the University of Minnesota Extension and Minnesota Chippewa Tribe to help SNAP participants make good purchasing choices and stretch their food dollars.
  • Coalition member profile

    lleen Moriarty

    Colleen Moriarty, Executive Director

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    Hunger Solutions Minnesota is a comprehensive hunger relief organization that works to end hunger in Minnesota. Executive Director Colleen Moriarty is a full-time advocate of outreach by supporting agencies that provide food to those in need, advancing public policy and guiding grassroots advocacy. She is a member of the Nutritious Food Coalition, which is focused on increasing the number of Minnesotans who are eligible for, but not currently, on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to ensure they are getting the healthy food they need.

    I am most proud of: Our successful SNAP outreach campaign to enroll more food insecure seniors.

    The best part of my job is: Working with our many partners across the state.

    We are excited to be a part of the Nutritious Food Coalition because: This allows us to have an even greater impact with our state-wide hunger-relief efforts.

    In the future I: Believe that there will be no asset limits for any of our nutrition and work support programs, and access to food and service will be simplified and equitable.

    Recently, Hunger Solutions Minnesota was one of eight recipients of the 2013 Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Awards, distributed to organizations across Minnesota for their outstanding contributions to human services program clients.

    Get to know our coalition members! Past member profiles and information.

    What's new

    Seniors learn more about SNAP

    In celebration of Gov. Mark Dayton’s declaration of January as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Outreach Month, the Hibbing Life Enrichment for the Elderly (LEE) Center staff held a presention for residents to learn more about, and sign up for, the food assistance program. Residents enjoyed refreashments provided by the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency and were entered into a drawing to win a $15 bag of groceries, won by resident Millie Klein. Not only a prize, the bag of groceries represented the minimum amount of monthly SNAP benefits a senior recipient may receive.

    E Center resident Millie Klein

    LEE Center resident Millie Klein won a $15 bag of groceries at the January 16 information session encouraging seniors to apply for SNAP benefits.

    E Center staff Marion Huber, Sandra Persson, resident Eileen King

    LEE Center staff Marion Huber, Sandra Persson and resident Eileen King enjoy refreshments after the Arrowheard Economic Opportunity Agecy presentation to LEE Center residents about support for seniors participating the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

    SNAP changes bring adjustments to benefit levels

    A small cost-of-living adjustment on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits became effective Oct. 1, 2013, that may affect some SNAP recipients who are not already at the maximum benefit level for their household size. Beginning Nov. 1, some recipients may see a decrease in their benefits. Help is available for SNAP recipients affected by the benefit decrease due to the end of extra benefits provided during the recession.

    More information is in a news release on the changes and help available for SNAP recipients.

    Unemployed and underemployed Minnesotans have a little more help purchasing healthy food

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture extended its timeline to allow able-bodied adults without dependents an exemption from work provisions until the end of the federal fiscal year, September 2013, enabling them to access food through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The waiver was first made available to states in January 2009. Minnesota is one of 46 qualifying states or geographic areas receiving the waiver now. Able-bodied Minnesotans are encouraged to voluntarily use SNAP employment and training services until they can find sustainable work.

    More information on SNAP is available on the DHS website.

    SNAP applicants and recipients warned about scams

    Applicants for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) should be aware there is never a fee for applying for benefits, and to be on the lookout for online ads or suspicious emails falsely offering help filling out applications. The goal of such scams is to collect personal information from potential SNAP recipients, including credit card information. The federal agency that manages SNAP reports that there have recently been scams in which applicants are asked to provide cell phone numbers and are then automatically enrolled into an expensive service without warning. A “scam alert” provides regular updates about these illegal schemes and how to get assistance if an applicant has already fallen victim.

    More recent NFC news can be found on the Recent news and happens page.

    How we're doing

    An electronic "Dashboard" helps Minnesotans know what they are getting from the programs they pay for, including the use of SNAP by eligible seniors.

    How to get help

    Help is available through the Minnesota Food Helpline at 1-888-711-1151.

    Publications

    A fact sheet, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps people with low incomes buy food (PDF), is available on the DHS website.


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