State legislature launches child hunger caucus
In the first week of the 2018 state legislative session, elected officials on both sides of the aisle came together quickly on an issue that transcends politics: eliminating child hunger in Minnesota. Reps. Erin Maye Quade (DFL – Apple Valley), Rod Hamilton (R – Mountain Lake) and Tony Jurgens (R – Cottage Grove) launched the child hunger caucus, a bipartisan group that will engage with child hunger advocates and hunger relief leaders, educators and nutrition service directors, and families impacted by food insecurity during the 2018 legislative session.
The child hunger caucus received extensive coverage on the Minnesota media scene and legislators are eager to report out short-term and long-term ways to tackle this issue that remains somewhat unknown to policymakers and community leaders across the state. One in six Minnesota children do not have enough food to eat – an alarming reality that is harming young people when they’re most vulnerable in crucial stages of development, and impacting our state’s future workforce.
Second Harvest Heartland strongly supports the bipartisan effort and remains engaged in the group’s work, which included adoption of a House resolution asserting that “no child in Minnesota should ever go hungry” during the first child hunger caucus meeting March 7.Legislators committed to recruiting their colleagues and exploring ways to connect hungry kids to food quickly, as well as agreeing on ways to improve food access through administrative changes and new state policies.
The child hunger caucus is also supported by General Mills and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota as well as key hunger relief partners, Hunger Solutions Minnesota and the Minnesota Legal Services Advocacy Project.