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Minnesotans hungrier: Food shelf visits up 28%

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Hunger is on the rise in Minnesota, and visits to food shelves in the first three months of 2009 were up 28% over last year, according to a new report from Hunger Solutions Minnesota. During the darkest days of the recession, food agencies doled out aid a record 614,344 times in the first quarter, says the agency, whose membership includes the six Second Harvest food banks in Minnesota and more than 300 food-shelf organizations statewide. Hunger Solutions blames the increase on the recession, increased food prices, and unemployment that has shot above 8% in Minnesota.