PNS Daily Newscast - February 27, 2020 

Trump puts Pence in charge of coronavirus response; and lingering concerns about U.S. Census participation.

2020Talks - February 27, 2020 

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn endorsed former VP Joe Biden, ahead of South Carolina's primaries. Super Tuesday states, including North Carolina, are also voting soon, but campaigning there is different.

Is Minnesota "Dropping the Ball" on Hunger?

February 21, 2007

Tens of thousands of hungry Minnesotans are not receiving the taxpayer-funded food assistance earmarked for them, according to a new report. The assistance amounts to nearly $2 million per year.

Author Jessica Webster, with the Legal Services Advocacy Project, says the state has failed these people.

"We could enroll 200,000 more individuals. But, we simply have no excuses for why thousand of Minnesota children, their parents, even their grandparents, are skipping meals, or going to bed hungry because they don't know they're eligible for assistance. Or, because the state has made it too difficult to participate."

Webster legislators are considering bills to simplify the application process. Analysts attribute the jump in food shelf use to the increasing costs of housing, healthcare and childcare.

Webster says a growing number of working families are relying on community food shelves, funded by local donations, but those shelves would be a lot fuller if the state used all the taxpayer-funded assistance that is available.

"Hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans are visiting food shelves and relying on food pantries across the state, when we are not using the $172-million from the federally-funded food support program."

The study is available online at

Jim Wishner/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - MN