$853 million in relief funds coming to local government and food security

$853 million in relief funds coming to local government and food security

Created: June 25, 2020 03:08 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Local governments and food security efforts impacted by COVID-19 pandemic are getting $853 million in relief funds in Minnesota. 

Gov. Walz and Lt. Gov. Flanagan announced Thursday that $841 million will be distributed to Minnesota counties, cities, and towns. $12 million will be allocated toward food shelves and food banks to help combat hunger across the state. The funding was authorized under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

According to the governor's office, 300,000 Minnesotans have vistited food shelves each month since the pandemic began. An increase of 30% over typical visits. 

Food banks are distributing approximately 2.4 million pounds of food per week, representing a 20-40% increase since 2019.

The $841 million for local governments across the state can be used to support local government services as well as grants to businesses, hospitals, and individuals who have been impacted by COVID-19.

Local governments will receive a direct payment based on the per capita formula developed by the state legislature during the special session.

Counties with population under 500,000:                 $121.28 x county population
Cities with population over 200:                               $75.34 x city population
Organized towns with population over 5,000:          $75.34 x organized town population
Towns with population over 200 and under 4,999:  $25.00 x town population
Cities or towns with a population of less than 200 will have their distribution sent to their county:
Cities with population under 200:                             $75.34 x city population
Organized towns with population under 200:          $25.00 x town population
Prior to distributing the aid, local governments must certify their intent to follow federal guidelines for the use of funds received. The CARES Act requires that payments may only be used to cover costs that are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency.

Gov. Walz is submitting this proposal Thursday to the Legislative Advisory Commission for their review and is requesting their swift approval so the funds can be distributed

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