Minnesota Department of Human Services

Recent Articles

SNAP use grows at farmers markets

 

More Minnesotans are using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to purchase fresh fruit, vegetables and other eligible products at local farmers markets. SNAP use at farmers markets has more than tripled in recent years, seeing a 239 percent increase in dollars spent from 2011 through 2013. The gain follows efforts by the Minnesota Department of Human Services and its partners to make it more convenient and cost effective to use Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards at markets. Market Bucks, a special incentive from Blue Cross, matches EBT card purchases with up to an additional $5 in bonus coupons each market day. Market Bucks can be used during the same trip or anytime during the 2014 market season on SNAP-eligible purchases, which include fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy products of farm and field. Continue Reading →

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Conference recruited fighters for War on Poverty

By Isaac Peterson

Contributing Writer

 

Fifty years ago, in 1964, then-president Lyndon Johnson mobilized the resources of the U.S government to engage in his historic War on Poverty, saying, “The richest nation on earth can afford to win it. We cannot afford to lose it.”

Fifty years later, although there were some victories in the effort to end poverty, obviously much work remains before victory may be declared. To that end, on May 1 a coalition of Minnesota organizations banded together for the Minnesota Poverty Call to Action. The group was hosted by the Minnesota Community Action Partnership. Community Action Agencies were themselves created by a War on Poverty program. Continue Reading →

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Referral numbers suggest Hennepin County bias against culturally specific providers

By Brandon Jones

Contributing Writer

 

 

In our conversations about injustice and systemic racism, we tend to focus on individuals who have been mistreated. Whether we are speaking about current police brutality incidents, something that happens to Black entertainers, or racist rants, the injustice and systematic assaults on Black people continue. Oftentimes one element of this oppression that is often overlooked is how Black organizations get caught up in the abusive system. John Woods, an African American who is the program director and owner of New Perspectives Behavioral Health Systems, is speaking out about the injustice that he is experiencing now. Woods claims that the review team at 1800 Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis (Hennepin County Detox) is systematically running his agency out of business. Continue Reading →

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Celebrate and take action during Black History Month

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Lucinda Jesson and Edward McDonald

Guest Commentators

 

 

Black History Month is a time to celebrate and recognize the rich accomplishments of African Americans. Many of the 311,000 Black/African American Minnesotans, including 76,000 African immigrants, have contributed significantly to Minnesota through strong cultural diversity, business development, consumer spending, government revenue, employment opportunities and trade relations with African countries. As we applaud the growing strength of African American communities during the month of February, we also encourage more families to adopt and provide foster care for children, especially the disproportionate number of African American children in the foster care system. One of the greatest memories an African American child, or any child can have, is the love and care of family. Of the 467 children in the foster care system in need of adoptive families as of January 1 of this year, 140 (30 percent) are African American — a disproportionately large percentage compared to the number of African American children in Minnesota. Continue Reading →

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Adoption celebrated during Black History Month

During February, Black History Month, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the Council on Black Minnesotans, and several nonprofit and community organizations are working together to encourage families to adopt children waiting in the foster care system, particularly African American children who are disproportionately represented in the child welfare system. “All children need safe, stable, loving homes to thrive,” said Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. “During Black History Month, we are celebrating the African American families who have adopted and encouraging other families to consider adoption. We, along with our community partners, are here to provide support before, during and after adoption.”

Added Edward McDonald, executive director of the Council on Black Minnesotans, “As we celebrate the rich history of African Americans during the month of February, let us also use the month to begin doubling our efforts for the remainder of the year encouraging more African American families to adopt and provide foster care for children who are wards of the state, especially the disproportionate number of African American children. The greatest historical remembrance an African American child, or any child, can have is one that is highlighted by the love and care of a family.”

Throughout February adoption-specific events include:

The Minnesota Heart Gallery is featuring foster children in need of adoptive families in its large lobby display at the East Side Neighborhood Services Building, 1700 Second St. Continue Reading →

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Help available for Minnesota’s SNAP recipients as benefits change

Help is available for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients who will see two changes in their benefits amounts during October and November 2013. On Oct. 1, benefits increased slightly for some SNAP recipients to reflect the costs of living. On Nov. 1, most recipients will see their benefits decrease due to the end of the extra benefits provided by the federal government during the recession. Continue Reading →

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Minnesota joins national observance of Falls Prevention Awareness Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Governor Mark Dayton has declared Sept. 22 as Falls Prevention Awareness Day in Minnesota, making Minnesota among 47 states joining the national Falls Free Initiative to raise awareness of falls on the first day of fall, and ways to prevent falls in the older adult population. This year’s theme,  “Preventing Falls — One Step at a Time,” calls on professionals, older adults, caregivers and family members to help prevent falls, which are the leading cause of injuries requiring hospitalization or treatment and injury-related deaths in Minnesota. The vast majority of these injuries occur among older adults. Older Minnesotans experienced more than 32,000 falls in 2010, causing 690 fatalities and estimated medical costs of more than $275 million, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Continue Reading →

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