Solutions Blog

Partners to End Hunger Celebrates Legislative Wins

Minnesota Partners to End Hunger is a statewide network of service providers and advocates working to end hunger in Minnesota by motivating decision-makers to take supportive action on state and national hunger policy issues.

Our 2019 Partners to End Hunger Legislative Agenda identified state-level priorities for anti-hunger legislation:


The Good Food Access Program helps establish permanent facilities for the sale of healthy, affordable food in areas of the state where better access is needed. The Program provides grants, loans, and technical support for food-related enterprises such as new and improved grocery stores, mobile markets, farmers’ markets, fresh food refrigeration, and other innovative community-driven solutions.

Result: Continued funding for the program at up to $300,000 per year for the next 4 years


When kids don’t have breakfast available to them at school, it means they aren’t ready to learn. As a state, Minnesota has missed our opportunity to adequately support school breakfast programs in the past. This session, we proposed a bold move — to provide incentives to schools to serve high-quality school breakfast and make sure all Minnesota students start their school day ready to learn.

Result: Secured hearings, but breakfast after the bell not funded in the final bill.


Minnesota became a leader in addressing the issue of school lunch shaming when it passed legislation to ensure that reminders about lunch payments do not stigmatize or demean students who participate in the free school meals program. Yet some students who are unable to pay are still denied access to the same nutritious lunch given to other students. They are instead given a substitute meal like a cheese sandwich. We supported closing the loophole in state law that allows this to happen.

Result: No action at the Legislature this session, but Attorney General Ellison issued a legal opinion that students should not be denied the right to participate in graduation due to an unpaid meal balance


Mobile food shelf programs increase access to nutritious food for individuals who experience barriers to accessing traditional bricks-and-mortar food shelves because of transportation or mobility challenges. Mobile food shelves received $2 million in funding from the Legislature in 2015. Support continued funding of competitive grants to create new mobile programs or expand existing programs.

Result: Secured hearings, but mobile food shelves were not funded in the final bill.


Farm to School and Early Care initiatives connect farmers and kids by serving local food in students’ meals, teaching them about local agriculture in educational activities, strengthening local economies and supporting healthy eating habits. Our bill proposes creating a Farm to School Coordinator position and establishing a grant program to reimburse up to 5 cents per meal for schools and early care environments serving local food.

Result: Secured up to $400,000 per year in funding including reimbursements to schools and early care providers for purchase at local farms and a staff person at the Department of Agriculture support the program


The AGRI Urban Agriculture Grant Program encourages urban youth agricultural education and urban agriculture community development in or near urban areas. Grants help organizations and communities obtain the materials and services necessary to improve access to fresh produce and successfully promote a healthy and thriving local food system.

Result: Continued funding for the program at up to $300,000 per year for the next 4 years


Students have the right to have their basic needs met while in school. Unfortunately, that is not the case as college students across the state are dealing with food insecurity. Minnesota students are going hungry while trying to pursue their education and that is unacceptable. Our bill proposes state funding for Hunger Free Campuses. This would provide grants to help ensure that every community and technical college in Minnesota has a system in place to address food insecurity among students. Hunger Free Campuses would also fund SNAP education and outreach on every campus.

Result: Policy language on Hunger Free Campuses was adopted, but without the requested funding.


Sometimes, other issues arise over the course of the Legislative Session that we have to address – by supporting & shaping the conversation or by defending against policies that would be bad for Minnesotans who struggle with hunger.

SNAP Asset Limits

Most Legislative Sessions see proposals that would restrict the SNAP program in Minnesota and make it harder for people to get food assistance. This session saw proposals that would reinstate the asset limit in SNAP, which would require burdensome paperwork for both applicants and counties, and proposals to require photo ID and a list of household members names on the EBT card itself, which would limit the ability of caretakers and neighbors to help purchase food for elderly or disabled SNAP users.

Result: Both the asset limit proposal and changes to ID requirements were defeated this session.

Diaper Funding for Food Shelves

An appropriation to food shelves to purchase diapers to distribute to low-income families. A continuation of an investment proven cost-effective in 2017 to address the fact that there are no federal or state programs that directly address the cost of diapers for low-income families.

Result: Secured hearings, but funding for diapers not in the final bill.

Market Bucks

After a bill was introduced to eliminate the Market Bucks program, farmers markets and advocates rallied to defend the program and secure a new home for it in state government.

Result: Funding maintained at $325,000 per year for 4 years and funding moved to Department of Agriculture in 2021.



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