Food Shelf Visits 2015
By most indicators, Minnesota is a prosperous state. Our unemployment and poverty rates are among the lowest in the country and per capita income and homeownership are among the highest in the country. Yet many Minnesotans struggle to make ends meet.
For many households, one car repair or one health emergency can throw their budget into turmoil. Households don’t have much control over fixed monthly expenses like the mortgage or rent or utility bills. When things get tight, one of the first budget items cut is food. Individuals and families turn to food shelves for help making it through the month.
Adults, children, and seniors made 3,281,389 visits to food shelves in 2015. Since the recession, reaching over 3 million food shelf visits in a year has become the new normal for the emergency food system. 2015 marks the 5th consecutive year with over 3 million visits.
In 2015, Minnesotans made 3,281,389 visits to food shelves.
Senior visits on the rise
Seniors (adults 65 years old and older) are the fastest growing group of food shelf users. From 2011 to 2015, the number of food shelf visits by seniors rose 23.7%.
3 million visits = the new normal
Food shelf visits remain high across the state. Three million+ visits per year has become the “new normal” in Minnesota. At the same time food shelf visits rose, the state’s unemployment rate fell, suggesting that not everyone shares equally in Minnesota’s economic prosperity.