Local Food Shelves Prepare for Shutdown What-If
PRISM in Golden Valley is watching the partial federal government shutdown closely and preparing to help people who receive SNAP benefits. Federal food assistance services have not been disrupted so far, but PRISM is preparing for an increase in food shelf use should funding get disrupted.
Since 1970, PRISM, a nonprofit in Golden Valley, has helped people in the northwest suburbs get an upper hand on hunger.
A woman shopping in the food shelf says she is thankful for the help.
“We will suffer throughout the month a lot of the time. This helps us out a lot and they provide a lot of food for us, considering it is just the two of us,“ she explained.
PRISM helps Bridge the Gap
According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, more than 396,000 Minnesotans receive SNAP. In Hennepin County, that number is over 83,000. Many of those people come to food shelves like PRISM for additional supplies.
“I think food shelves in our community really are the safety net, of the safety net. So, if the public programs like SNAP and like WIC and school meal programs are intended to address hunger, we know they don’t meet all the needs,” explained Michelle Ness.
In the last year, PRISM has seen a 20 percent increase in food shelf use. Approximately, 70 percent of the people who use the PRISM food shelf are on the SNAP program. If the government shutdown lasts until the end of the month, it could cause problems.
“I’m a little worried,” said first time food shelf user Delia Gaddis. “It’s much more beneficial for me to pick my own foods and cook my own foods. Because some foods make me ill. However, if that’s what happens, what can you do?”
Meanwhile, PRISM officials are taking a day-by-day approach to the partial government shutdown and hoping the shutdown doesn’t last too long. They will continue helping as many people as they can. The group is in need of volunteers, you can contact them here: https://www.prismmpls.org/
Families can also contact the Minnesota Food Help Line at 1-888-711-1151 anytime they need help connecting to food assistance. The line is funded by DHS and operated by Hunger Solutions Minnesota.