Some people skip meals so their kids can eat; some go to extreme lengths to consume enough food. Many turn to cheap calories, and most experience the anxiety that comes with not always knowing where they will find their next meal.
MPR News is exploring hunger, looking at causes and consequences, at public policy and the latest research, at gaps in the system and at innovative ways Minnesota residents are finding to help. This Ground Level topic page is a compilation of our coverage.
Lydia Olsen was just 22 years old when she found a way to feed hungry kids in Watonwan County. Read more »
Dan Farm remembers exactly when he realized something had to be done. Read more »
The number of Minnesotans visiting food shelves is on the rise, and Mustafa Sundiata is doing all he can to make sure the experience is as pleasant as possible. Read more »
It can be hard to convince Minnesota's seniors to sign up for food stamps, but Terry Hassan is not easily deterred. Read more »
A Face of Hunger: Migrant workers in southern Minn.
Hunger effort's goals echo project to end homelessness
Coalition launches effort to fight hunger in Minn.
Hungry mothers reflect on struggle to feed children
A focus on healthier food for the homeless
School lunch prices to rise
Food shelves look to replenish stock
Outreach encourages seniors to apply for food help
Hospitals hand out food to needy
School backpacks give kids food for weekends
Food shelf visits rise
This map shows the percentage of students in each Minnesota school district who receive free or reduced lunch, which is typically used as an indicator of the poverty level in a community. Click on a school district to view the information for that district. Source: Minnesota Department of Education
Ground Level launched in early 2010 focusing on a wide variety of topics, from the growing complexity of Minnesota's local food system to cities preparing for new fiscal realities, from exurban growth in Baldwin Township to the quest to expand broadband access across the state. The Ground Level Blog chronicles the wide variety of topics with over 500
We identify topics that are significant and complex and that play out uniquely at the local level. We want to explore those issues in which people taking action in their communities make a difference and can serve as guides for others.
Ground Level launched in early 2010 and shines a light on a variety of topics, from the growing complexity of Minnesota's local food system to cities preparing for new fiscal realities, from exurban growth in Baldwin Township to the quest to expand broadband access across the state.
We experiment with coverage on a variety of platforms. This includes text, audio and video online, of course - the Ground Level blog, a series of topics pages and social networking, for example. It also includes on-air coverage, public forums both virtual and real-world and collaboration with community-based media.
Our audience consists of Minnesotans interested in community life, particularly those who are taking an active part in it or helping others do the same. Ground Level is very much an experiment -- in finding ways to learn about and tell stories, in working with other organizations, in walking up to the line between providing insight and advocating specific actions. Our goal is to inform and give people the ability and incentive to engage with their community. We invite your feedback and your ideas, via the blog, twitter at @MPRGroundLevel, phone calls, emails, whatever. Join us.
About the team:
Dave Peters directs MPR’s project on community journalism, looking for ways Minnesota residents are making their towns, cities and neighborhoods better places to live. He joined MPR News in 2009 after more than 30 years as a newspaper and online reporter and editor. Contact Dave
Jennifer Vogel reports and writes for the Ground Level project, focusing on complex topics that play out in Minnesota's communities and that involve residents getting engaged with the challenges of the day. She is a longtime Twin Cities writer and editor who joined MPR News and Ground Level in January 2010. Contact Jennifer
Support for Ground Level is provided
by the Bush Foundation.