Home Farm Equipment USDA secretary visits Minnesota, is impressed with Second Harvest

USDA secretary visits Minnesota, is impressed with Second Harvest

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Throughout a whirlwind journey to Minnesota final week to satisfy with farmers and others to debate the drought, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack visited Second Harvest Heartland, a big meals financial institution in Brooklyn Park Aug. 13.

His cease right here gave Vilsack, alongside with Minnesota agriculture commissioner Thom Petersen and Rep. Dean Phillips, the possibility to tour the 230,000-square-foot facility and meet privately with native leaders of space businesses and organizations to debate regional meals wants.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: When USDA Secretary Vilsack visited Second Harvest, volunteers have been repacking a great deal of potatoes into smaller bins for simpler distribution. The meals financial institution depends on a whole lot of volunteers, who work in shifts to arrange meals for cargo. Final yr, individuals stepped as much as present greater than 72,000 volunteer hours.

Second Harvest, the biggest meals financial institution within the U.S., moved to its new renovated world headquarters in spring 2020 within the west Minneapolis suburb. It serves 59 Minnesota counties, plus meals banks outstate and in North Dakota and Wisconsin.

Following a closed-to-the-press assembly, Second Harvest workers gave a strolling tour of the ability to Vilsack, Petersen and Phillips. Of most curiosity to Vilsack was the “clean room,” a USDA-certified refrigerated web site the place bulk portions of meat and poultry are repackaged by volunteers into  smaller packages for individuals.

“This is a remarkable facility,” Vilsack stated throughout a press convention. “I really like the ‘clean room.’ There are only five in the country, and this is one of them.”

SNAP advantages go up

Vilsack talked about numerous USDA packages accessible to help meals banks and those that are hungry, akin to emergency meals help and sponsored college meals. He additionally alluded to a forthcoming announcement, which was launched Aug. 16, about updating the Thrifty Meals Plan —which is used calculate Supplemental Diet Help Program (SNAP) advantages.

After reviewing plan knowledge, USDA introduced a value adjustment — the primary time the buying energy of the plan has modified because it was first launched in 1975 — and revised the plan to incorporate extra fish and crimson and orange greens. In consequence, the typical SNAP profit will enhance by $36.24 per particular person monthly, or $1.19 per day, for fiscal yr 2022, which begins Oct. 1. In Minnesota, beneath the earlier Thrifty Meals Plan, the state acquired $630 million, in keeping with USDA. With the revision, it is going to get an estimated $808 million for this system in fiscal yr 2022.

Vilsack additionally made stops in Cannon Falls and St. Peter to go to with farmers and different ag-related companies and organizations.

 

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