Food insecurity is the silent struggle that many families in Minnesota face. Friends, neighbors, or coworkers could all be battling hunger in ways that are unseen and unknown. COVID-19 hit a lot of communities hard and exacerbated an already difficult situation for many people. In response to this, Allianz, Keystone Community Services and Minnesota United partnered up to help Midway families filing for food insecurity.
Every summer for the past three years, Minnesota United, in partnership with Keystone and Allianz, has hosted monthly food drives at Allianz Field. In 2022 thus far, 14,240 pounds of food has been distributed. To put that in perspective, that’s about the weight of 8 entire soccer teams (using the average weight of a professional male soccer player, with 11 players per team). 451 households and 1948 individuals have been served – 745 kids (40%), 900 adults (48%), and 304 seniors (2%).
What is food insecurity? The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. It is important to note that food insecurity doesn’t necessarily mean just a lack of access to food in general. It could be a lack of resources for a nutritional diet. Due to this, families living in food deserts (communities with very limited access to healthy and affordable food options) could face food insecurity if they are only able to obtain low-quality meals.
This is an issue that can affect people both above and below the poverty line. Due to the complexity of food insecurity, many people who battle hunger also have coinciding issues such as low wages, health problems, and lack of affordable housing options. When faced with overdue rent payments, the last thing anyone wants to worry about is where they will get their next meal.
In Minnesota, 432,170 people are facing hunger - and of them 147,340 are children. That’s 1 in 13 people and 1 in 9 children. Minnesota United is committed to helping ease the struggle of hunger in the Twin Cities community. If you or anyone you know is struggling with food insecurity, some helpful resources to find a food bank near you are linked below: