POVERTY IS A PROBLEM IN OUR MINNESOTA COMMUNITIES. The U.S. Census Bureau revealed a poverty rate of 11.5% in the State of Minnesota (2014). Also, over 176,000 Minnesota children live in poverty. Poverty not only creates toxic stress for families, it can cause children to struggle academically, socially and emotionally. These are experiences that can affect children in the long term.
POVERTY IS COSTLY FOR EVERYONE. Study after study has shown that communities without safety nets for people in need ultimately spend more dollars on the negative outcomes of poverty (foreclosures, bankruptcy, health costs and crime costs). Housing, food, access to education, healthcare, and employment are essential for everyone. Meeting these essential needs creates a strong and stable community with increased consumer activity, business stability, and fewer poverty-related costs.
FOOD SHELVES ARE OFTEN THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE AGAINST POVERTY AND CRISIS. They have the opportunity to offer those in need assessments and resources for a path to stability. However, many basic needs organizations are so focused on providing critical day-to-day service that it is difficult for them to think about maximizing outcomes. Operating on a bare minimum, food shelves often lack the resources to offer vital programs to help stabilize their community and help move clients out of poverty.