Fears keep Latino immigrants away from food stamps

Published 8:56 am Monday, June 30, 2014

BURNSVILLE — Many Latino immigrants in Minnesota are reluctant to use food stamps because of a mix of stigma, language issues and complex eligibility rules.

Maritza Real works to connect Latino immigrants to the federal food stamp program. She says her first step often is to kill the rumor that once immigrants’ children turn 18, they have to pay the government everything they received.

Real works for Community Action Partnership of Scott, Carver and Dakota counties. She doesn’t know where the rumor began. But it’s keeping Latino families from the healthy food their families might need.

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Census data show Latinos are more likely than whites to be poor and struggle to find their next good meal. But Minnesota Public Radio News reports many are reluctant to take advantage of food stamps.