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Minnesota Food Shelf Survey

2022 Food Shelf Survey - Results are in!

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Support Tools: Make the most of the survey data!

Below are several support tools to help food shelves review results and discuss areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. If you have questions or need support, email

  • Want support to review your data?  Sign up for a free, online consultation with one of the food shelf survey partners. The session can be used to ask questions, discuss statewide or site-specific reports, and determine next steps to share data with your organization and community.

  • 2022 Minnesota Food Shelf Client Survey Overview Video: Listen to a brief overview of the survey process, key results and supporting tools.

  • Discussion Facilitation Guide: Use this guide to help facilitate a discussion about the 2022 survey results; includes pre-session planning tips, session agenda, email invite template and facilitation talking points.

  • Media Guide: Use this guide for key talking points and graphics that can be shared in social media, newsletters and other communications.

  • Convenings - Join your peers to dig deeper into the food shelf survey data at the statewide, regional, or county level, and hear more about promising practices being implemented at food shelves across the state. Click here to request a convening for your group or organization.

Additional Survey Results

  • Site Specific Reports for Food Shelves: Each participating food shelf site with at least 10 client responses has been emailed a site specific client survey report. For site specific report inquiries, or to request your full qualitative data set, email

2022 Minnesota Food Shelf Survey Overview

The Minnesota Food Shelf Surveys provide a critical opportunity to gather feedback from individuals visiting food shelves and food shelf managers. These voices have the ability to inform food shelf services and hunger relief system priorities. The survey takes place every 2-3 years, and prior results from the 2017 and 2019 surveys have provided important insights on the most requested food items and most valued client experiences at a food shelf.


The 2022 Minnesota Food Shelf Survey was administered to food shelf clients via paper or electronically from July to October 2022 at 288 unique food shelf sites (roughly 58% of 437 total Minnesota food shelf sites). A total of 7,014 responses from clients were gathered statewide. A companion survey was emailed directly to food shelf sites in August and September 2022 and was completed by 248 food shelf managers.

The Minnesota Food Shelf Survey is administered through the University of Minnesota Extension and the Foundation for Essential Needs (FFEN), in partnership with the Department of Human Services (DHS), Hunger Solutions, and SuperShelf. 


Full Statewide Survey Overview & Background here.

Questions? Contact us!

Call/Text: 612-524-9360        Email:​​

2022 Data Collection and Process Resources

Food Shelf Client ​Survey Tools


Food shelves received a Survey Cover Sheet for additional guidance on the Survey tools and process along with their survey materials kit.

SURVEYS are available in the following languages available for you to download and print:

SURVEY HANDOUTS provided QR codes and links to access the survey electronically:

Food Shelf Manager Survey Tools


FOOD SHELF MANAGER SURVEYS were provided via email for electronic responses:

Data Parties 


Over 150 individuals registered across the four data party sessions and over 150 voices joined breakout rooms to discuss the data. Breakouts were facilitated by Extension staff, FFEN staff and other leaders in the hunger relief sector and key discussion items were captured on jamboards. An overview of the high-level themes from the data parties can be found here.

Additional Materials and Resources 


Helpful videos to answer many of your questions!

Past Survey Results


All institutions are equal opportunity providers and employers. For more information about USDA non-discrimination policy or to inquire about filing a complaint, go to


The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more, contact the MN Food Help Line at 1-888-711-1151.


This resource was funded in part by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP-Ed – with funds received from and through the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

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Individual Food Shelf Survey Results were sent to participating agencies in summer 2020.



It is important as readers of this 2019 survey to note that these data were collected prior to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic and do not reflect the potential impacts of COVID-19 on food shelf clients in 2020. Evidence from national data suggests that food insecurity has increased since the start of the pandemic*.

  • The "Top 5" foods remain more important than ever during the current economic and health crisis because they are higher nutritional value and more expensive.

  • Providing a welcoming environment is even more important to help people, especially first time food shelf users, feel comfortable asking for help, given the increased need many people are finding themselves in due to COVID-19.

  • A choice-based food distribution model (in whatever degree possible while also maintaining COVID-19 safety protocols) allows clients to choose foods that are important to them with dignity and respect.

*Schanzenbach, D. W., & A. Pitts. (2020). How much has food insecurity risen? Evidence from the Census Household Pulse Survey. Institute for Policy Research Rapid Research Report.

Key Highlights from the 2019 Statewide Food Shelf Client Survey 

  • Healthy foods, including fresh fruits and veggies, continue to be in demand and clients know how to prepare them. 

  • The “Top 5” foods clients told us they wanted in 2019 are meat and other proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy, eggs, and cooking and baking supplies; which are the same top 5 foods that clients requested in 2017. These foods are often available, but not frequently enough; there is still more work to be done to provide them reliably.

  • A good client experience is about more than just providing food, it also means providing services in a welcoming and dignified manner. Providing a positive client experience is an area that needs further improvement. 

  • Despite the great work happening in the hunger relief sector today, clients still face significant food insecurity and need to make budget trade-offs between food & other basic needs. 

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