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Minnesota Marks "Hunger Awareness Day"

June 5, 2007

Today is "Hunger Awareness Day." Colleen Moriarty with Hunger Solutions Minnesota explains that it's designed to remind us that not everyone has enough to eat.

“Hunger continues to be a pressing issue in many parts of our country and in Minnesota, where we're seeing the amount of people who are going hungry and skipping meals, rising to epidemic proportions.”

Many of the hungry are working poor, who use food shelves. Moriarty notes that use is increasing in Minnesota, with many of those relying on them children and seniors. And for many food is often the first thing they "cut corners" on.

“They don't really have a voice in how much their fuel is going to cost. They don't have a voice in how much their health care costs are or what their rent is. But, they have a voice on how much they can spend on food. And, there particularly isn't enough for children in our state during the time that they're out of school. They don't have easy access to the kind of nutritious food that they need.”

Four-hundred thousand Minnesotans use food shelves, and almost a third are children.

Moriarty adds that, while the causes of hunger need to be addressed, the new farm bill offers an opportunity to boost food stamp support to help low-income families enjoy the nation's abundance of food.

“After all, it's through the work of low-income people that much of this food gets harvested, and is grown. And, we have a responsibility to make sure that the moral dilemma of whether or not you can feed your family, or you have to skip meals, in order that your children, or the seniors in your community are fed, isn't faced by families in our community.”

Food shelf use traditionally increases during the summer months, when school is out, and kids can't get free or reduced-price meals.

"National Hunger Awareness Day" is sponsored by America's Second Harvest. More information is available online at

Jim Wishner/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - MN