The Minnesota House approved its fourth package of legislation in the past month last week to help workers, businesses, and families impacted by the unprecedented COVID-19 public health crisis.  State District 27B Representative Jeanne Poppe, DFL’er from Austin stated to KAUS News that the bill temporarily extends the period before which a creditor can enforce a debt or terminate a contract for deed subject to the Farmer-Lender Mediation Act from 90 days to 150 days, or an additional two months…

The extension becomes effective the day following enactment and applies to any mediation request filed before July 31, 2020. The bill also makes a new $1.25 million appropriation for Second Harvest Heartland to purchase and distribute milk and protein products such as pork, poultry, beef, dry legumes, cheese, and eggs.  Poppe went on to state that the legislation also increases the state’s appropriation to Second Harvest Heartland by $1.25 million one-time…. 

The original 2019 Ag & Food finance budget passed into law focused on Second Harvest’s purchases of milk for food banks, but protein products are now added in the bill, and must be surplus products sourced from Minnesota processors and producers based on low-cost bids, when practicable. Second Harvest may use up to two percent of their grant for administrative expenses, and they are directed to distribute these food items to Minnesota food shelves and other charitable organizations that are eligible to receive food from food banks.

 The bill increases the FY20 appropriation for Second Harvest Heartland grants from $1.7 million to $2.95 million. The FY21 appropriation for Second Harvest grants remains $1.7 million.