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PNS Daily Newscast - October 20, 2020 


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'Public Charge' Plan Continues to Stoke Fear in MN

In addition to helping distribute turkeys to families in need, Hunger Solutions Minnesota encourages people to join the annual "Walk to End Hunger" on Thanksgiving Day. (walktoendhunger.org)
In addition to helping distribute turkeys to families in need, Hunger Solutions Minnesota encourages people to join the annual "Walk to End Hunger" on Thanksgiving Day. (walktoendhunger.org)
November 27, 2019

ST. PAUL, Minn. – With Thanksgiving upon us, charitable organizations are busy distributing holiday meals to people in need. But a Minnesota group says lingering fears about Trump administration policies are holding some back from seeking help.

In August, the administration proposed what's known as the "Public Charge" rule, which links immigrants' legal status to their use of public benefits. Even though courts have blocked the rule from being implemented, Colleen Moriarty, executive director of Hunger Solutions Minnesota, said lower-income immigrants still are nervous about being deported if they apply for benefits.

"I'm afraid that that is going to have a really big effect, as time goes on, for people being able to get enough food to feed their families," she said.

While they can't promise that a person's identification never would be shared, Moriarty said, use of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program isn't currently being held against someone applying for citizenship. While the fears are understandable, she said, her group still encourages those who are eligible to apply.

Moriarty will deliver that message when Hunger Solutions takes part in the annual turkey pardon led by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz today. She said this time of year brings out the best in people wanting to donate or volunteer, but noted that the need never goes away.

"It's a really busy time for the emergency food system," she said, "but it's always a good time to remind that, of course, the need for emergency food isn't just at the holiday season. But we so appreciate the fact that everyone really digs deep this time of year."

Hunger Solutions is teaming up with the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association to ensure that families in need get turkeys for their holiday meals. The association said roughly 11,000 turkeys are being distributed this year.

Disclosure: Hunger Solutions Minnesota contributes to our fund for reporting on Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Mike Moen, Public News Service - MN