Skip to main content
Publish date:

$853 million in federal money to be released statewide for coronavirus relief

$12 million of it will go toward fighting hunger.

The Minnesota Legislature couldn't come to an agreement on how to distribute millions of dollars worth of coronavirus relief funds, so Gov. Tim Walz has done so himself.

In a news release Thursday, the Democratic governor has issued his plan to distribute $853 million of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act money to counties, cities and towns to support local government COVID-19 relief efforts.

“As we work to support the health and safety of all Minnesotans during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are also taking steps to build a stronger and more equitable economy,” Gov. Walz said in the release. “This funding will bring much-needed relief to communities across the state as we continue to battle this pandemic together.”

The governor submitted his plan to the Legislative Advisory Commission for review and is requesting it is approved quickly so the CARES Act funds can be distributed as early as next week.

$12M to fight hunger

Of the CARES Act money, Walz is allocating $12 million toward food shelves and food banks to help combat hunger.

This comes as data this week predicted a Depression-era level of food need in Minnesota, with needs peaking in September.

According to the governor's news release, roughly 300,000 Minnesotans have visited food shelves each month since the coronavirus pandemic began, which is a 30 percent increase over the typical number of monthly visits.

Food banks are distributing roughly 2.4 million pounds of food per week, which is a 20-40 percent incrase since 2019.

“Access to nutritious food is a cornerstone of a safe and healthy life, and for too many Minnesotans, that need hasn’t gone away during this pandemic—it has increased,” Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said in the release. “Using CARES Act funding to alleviate this need is one way we can directly improve the lives of Minnesotans most impacted by COVID-19. While the Legislature was not able to come to a final agreement to distribute this funding, their work was critical in determining the greatest needs across our state.”

$841M for local governments

The Minnesota Department of Revenue will distribute the remaining $841 million of CARES Act money to local governments, which can use it to support government services or distribute as grants to businesses, hospitals and people who've been impacted by the pandemic, the release said. 

“Local governments urgently need this funding in order to effectively respond to this unprecedented public health emergency,” said state Department of Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly. “The Department of Revenue has a long track record of distributing aid to local governments. The infrastructure already in place will ensure this aid is distributed quickly and accurately.”

Local governments, which must certify their intent to follow federal guidelines for using the funds, will receive a direct payment based on the per capita formula developed by the Minnesota Legislature during the Special Session. This formula wasn't fully ratified by the legislature.  

The funds will be distributed on a rolling basis beginning the week of June 29. Any remaining unspent money must be returned to the state by Dec. 10, and the state must recoup money if local governments are found to have spent the money improperly.

Next Up

child vaccine pexels

How many MN kids age 5-11 have received a COVID vaccine dose?

The governor says the state has one of the highest child vaccination rates in the U.S.

police lights

Seven juveniles arrested in connection with stolen vehicles in Woodbury

Woodbury authorities have issued a warning following a spate of auto thefts.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

1 dead after driver crashes into stalled vehicle on shoulder

The vehicle stopped on the side of the road was unoccupied at the time.

Everson Griffen Vikings dot com

Concern for DE Griffen after troubling late-night Instagram posts

The 33-year-old said people were trying to kill him in his home, and that he needed help.

The search involved several local public safety agencies, including a State Patrol helicopter unit and a K9 team.

Woman, 22, dies in crash just outside Brainerd

Another woman was injured in the collision.

Bloomington PD person interest dog abuse 11.24.21

Dog found shot and run over, police searching for person of interest

The police department released photos of a possible suspect.

unsplash football helmet ground

Parents of star QB suspended for state final file lawsuit to let him play

He was automatically suspended after receiving two unsportsmanlike conduct calls in the semifinal.

Christopher Endicott

Former Lakeville principal dies in Crow Wing County jail

The 53-year-old was pronounced dead after lifesaving measures were attempted.


Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 11.27.08 AM

Coronavirus: $12M in federal funds going to food shelves to combat hunger

Gov. Tim Walz revealed his plan to use coronavirus relief funds to combat hunger in Minnesota last month, and it has now been approved.


Special session Monday to focus on COVID-19 relief for businesses, workers

After disagreeing on how long unemployment benefits should last, it appears lawmakers have reached a deal.

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Walz offers pathway to 'wind-down' his emergency powers

"I recognize our shared interest in finding a pathway ... to ensure an orderly end of the peacetime emergency when it is no longer needed," Walz writes.

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Walz convenes special session to extend emergency powers

The Minnesota Legislature will convene for its fourth special session on Sept. 11.


COVID-19: Here's what Gov. Walz, Republicans are proposing to help businesses

Once they come to an agreement, Walz will call a special session to pass the legislation.

Joe Biden

Here's what's in the $1.9 trillion federal coronavirus relief bill Congress passed

From $1,400 stimulus payments to billions of dollars for Minnesota.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz uses executive actions to enact some police reform

This comes as the legislature is set to vote this week on a watered-down public safety bill.