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Missing: 125 Million Meals for Low-Income Minnesotans
Date:3/2/2009

Second Harvest Heartland report uncovers staggering shortfall in meals needed to feed Minnesota's hungry; Target donates 600,000 pounds of food to start filling the gap

SAINT PAUL, Minn., March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Second Harvest Heartland, the Upper Midwest's leading voice on hunger relief, today announced that low-income Minnesotans are missing 125 million meals every year--the equivalent of those in need going to bed without dinner two weeks out of every month. The staggering figure was released as part of the organization's "Missing Meals" report, a collection of secondary data that for the first time pinpoints exactly how many meals Minnesotans in need are missing each year.

"We are heartbroken by the findings we uncovered with our Missing Meals report," said Rob Zeaske, executive director of Second Harvest Heartland. "Despite our best efforts and the best efforts of those who have joined in the fight to end hunger, an unprecedented number of Minnesotans are missing an unprecedented number of meals. Truthfully, the number is far larger than we could have possibly imagined."

The Missing Meals data is available on a county-by-county basis for each of Minnesota's 87 counties. Among the seven counties in the metro area, low-income residents of Carver County are missing the most meals annually at 1.09 million (14.27 percent). The other six metro counties break-out as follows: Anoka--3.90 million meals missed (10.24 percent); Dakota--4.53 million meals missed (11.72 percent); Hennepin--13.6 million meals missed (6.12 percent); Ramsey--13.28 million meals missed (10.45 percent); Scott--908,000 meals missed (9.54 percent); Washington--2.28 million meals missed (12.24 percent).

While many of the numbers are well above expectations, Zeaske added that he is encouraged by data in the report that indicates low-income Minnesotans provide for 61 percent of their own meals. The data also show
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SOURCE Second Harvest Heartland
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