News from DHS for June 2022

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JUNE 2022

News from DHS archive

In this issue:

Nominations for Commissioner's Awards due July 1

Commissioner's Circle of Excellence Awards

Friday, July 1, is the last day to nominate an organization for this year's Commissioner's Circle of Excellence Awards. The awards recognize excellence and innovative work among human services providers, counties, tribes, advocacy groups and other organizations that partner with DHS to serve Minnesotans.

More details and the nomination form is online at

While individuals make marked differences in the lives of Minnesotans, these awards celebrate organizations.

More food benefits for young children on the way

P-EBT sandwich graphic

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause food insecurity, especially for children who aren’t getting meals at school or child care centers, families with children age 5 and younger will soon get a little more help putting healthy meals on their tables.

In late June, DHS began issuing Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) food benefits of $30 per month per child to about 90,000 children for every month they were eligible for P-EBT from September to December 2021. The department will issue a second P-EBT for 5 and Younger benefit payment – with a dollar amount yet to be determined – later this summer, for each month children were eligible January to May 2022.

To qualify, children must have been 5 and younger on Sept. 1, 2021, and enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), or Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in any month from September 2021 to May 2022.

“We all know the strong link between nutritious eating and overall well-being, and between nutrition and academic achievement,” said Commissioner Jodi Harpstead. “Providing financial support to families facing food insecurities is an investment in our children, our economy and our future.”

More information is in a department news release.

New grants benefit community child care providers

A new round of state grants recognizes the grandparents, relatives, friends and neighbors who care for children in diverse communities across Minnesota, often without the resources available to licensed child care providers.

A total of $2.9 million for community organizations will provide training and support for family, friends and neighbors who provide child care for the youngest Minnesotans. DHS will distribute grants to organizations serving unlicensed family, friend and neighbor child care providers. 

Family, friend and neighbor care is common in diverse cultural and ethnic communities and is often the only child care option for parents who work evenings, weekends, overnight shifts and other nonstandard hours. It may be full- or part-time, paid or unpaid, and provided in the child’s home or the caregiver’s home. Providers typically care for one or two children.

“These grants will support family, friends and neighbors who step up to provide child care, often without receiving the same benefits as licensed child care providers,” said Commissioner Jodi Harpstead. “Providing more resources for this essential child care option will strengthen the workforce behind the workforce.”

More information and a list of grantees is in a department news release.

Minnesota Frontline Worker Pay

Frontline worker pay info

Frontline workers in a variety of sectors can apply for Frontline Worker Pay. The application deadline is July 22. Applications can be submitted at

Eligibility is based on both work requirements and job sector. See for an explanation of the requirements, the most up-to-date information and helpful resources. 

After verification and processing of the applications are completed, payments are anticipated in early fall.

In social media

Hope Street opening day with Commissioner Jodi Harpstead and others

Posted this month on the DHS Facebook page

We are proud to partner in support of Hope Street Youth Shelter's new home, now located in the Hiawatha neighborhood of Minneapolis. Commissioner Jodi Harpstead joined others at the opening celebration this week. The shelter, operated by Catholic Charities, provides critical services and emergency shelter to those ages 18 to 24.

For timely updates on DHS news and events, follow DHS on Twitter and Facebook.

Follow our DHS Careers Facebook page for announcements of hiring events, new job postings, internships and more.

Accessible formats

For accessible formats of this publication, write to, or call 651-431-2000 or use your preferred relay service.

Council that aims to reduce disparities seeks new members

The Cultural and Ethnic Communities Leadership Council (CECLC) is seeking applications for multiple open seats representing: 

  • Diverse cultural and ethnic communities
  • The American Indian community

The council welcomes applicants from all sectors and levels of experience from the community.

The CECLC's mission is “working together to advance health and human services equity through the development of community-supported policy recommendations for cultural and ethnic communities and all those who call Minnesota home.”

How to apply

Apply by July 15 through the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Boards and Commissions Open Positions portal.

Upon receipt of the Secretary of State’s application, applicants must complete a supplemental DHS application by July 18.

Reach out to Nicole Juan at with any questions.

LoopBack podcast: Engaging community in legislative process

LoopBack podcast small version

In our latest LoopBack podcast episode, "Engaging Community in the DHS Legislative Process," guests share their thoughts and insights on creating an inclusive space for community input in the DHS legislative process.

This episode loops back with community members who attended a Community Empowerment Session in December. It's equally informative for anyone interested in how community input can inform our legislative proposals and priorities.

Listen and follow the LoopBack on Spotify, Stitcher, Anchor, Google and Apple podcasts. Podcast transcripts and other information are on our website at

newspaper beside a coffee cup

In the news

St. Peter Regional Treatment Center Forensic Services welcomes new leadershipAs executive director of Direct Care and Treatment’s Forensic Services, Carol Olson oversaw a historic renovation of the facilities in St. Peter among other important changes. An article in the St. Peter Herald takes a look back her leadership tenure as she passes the helm to Dr. Soniya Hirachan, recently named to replace Olson.

Minnesota extends Medicaid coverage to 12 months after giving birth: Minnesotans who qualify for Medicaid because of pregnancy can now maintain the coverage for 12 months after delivery — a significant extension from the previous postpartum coverage that ended at 60 days. Learn more in a Star Tribune article.

Minnesota to spend $93M on mental health: Concerns about the well-being of children and students after two years of the pandemic helped push $92.7 million in new mental health funding through the finish line. Gov. Tim Walz signed the bill into law in early June. Learn more in a Star Tribune article.

DHS fact sheets updated

Northstar Care for Children: Encouraging safe, permanent homes for children (PDF)

Increasing access to federal disability benefits (PDF)

Minnesota's refugee resettlement programs (PDF)

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps people with low incomes buy food (PDF)