Hunger has doubled in Minnesota in the past five years. No longer confined to urban or rural areas, hunger pervades each of Minnesota’s 87 counties, costing the state at least $1.2 billion each year in direct and indirect healthcare and education costs.
The effects of hunger can cause health and developmental issues from low birth weight to teen suicide to senior diabetes. Hunger-Free Minnesota has commissioned five research studies to examine the issue of hunger in Minnesota. Independently and collectively, these studies provide compelling reasons for fighting hunger in Minnesota.
The Map the Meal Gap Study, released in March 2011 by Feeding America, builds upon the original Missing Meals Study from 2008 (see below). The 2011 study has uncovered a new missing meals gap of 100 million meals for the more than 583,000 Minnesotans in need. This means that 1 in 10 Minnesotans does not always know where he or she will find his or her next meal. Read the summary
The Hunger in America/Minnesota Study, released in March 2010, found that hunger has doubled in Minnesota over the past five years and that 40 percent of those seeking hunger relief in Minnesota are now children under the age of 18. Read the summary
The Cost/Benefit Hunger Impact Study, released in September 2010, found that hunger predisposes individuals to health problems and psychological and social dysfunction that result in higher healthcare costs and poorer education outcomes and, as a result, cost Minnesotans at least $1.2 billion every year. Read the summary
"Hunger in America: Suffering We All Pay For" is a national research study from the Center for American Progress that corroborates many of the conclusions reached by our Minnesota-focused Cost/Benefit Hunger Impact Study.
The SNAP Access Study, released in April 2010, found that Minnesota has one of the lowest SNAP (also called Minnesota Food Support program) participation rates in the country. The study identifies barriers to enrollment within this federal nutrition program, and the positive economic impact of greater participation among eligible audiences. With increased enrollment in SNAP, Minnesota could see $210 million in economic stimulus and local jobs every year. Read the summary
The original Missing Meals Study (2008) was the original underpinning for Hunger-Free Minnesota as it identified, for the first time, how many meals were missing for Minnesotans in need. This study has been newly updated by Feeding America in their 2011 Map the Meal Gap study. Read the summary