(The Center Square) – Minnesota families with children should see an increase in food funding over the summer after Gov. Tim Walz recently signed a new bill into law.

The bill also frows the number of seats available statewide for public enrollment in pre-K, establishes a Child Protection Advisory Council, and increases grants for child care.

The Democrat-sponsored Chapter 115, House File 5237 funds the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer program, which allocates an additional $40 per month, per child when not in school, to account for not receiving free or reduced lunches.

The bill also increases preschool seats to 12,360 by 2025 and invests $37 million in literacy training programs.

LOOK: These Are Now the 20 Safest Cities in Minnesota For 2024

“From summer school meals and literacy programs to child care and pre-K, I was proud to sign a package that will strengthen resources for children and families across the state,” Walz said. “By investing in key programs, this legislation takes us another step closer to making Minnesota the best state for kids.”

The package also expands access to food pantries and appropriates funding to the Department of Children, Youth, and Families. The funding will be used to establish the Child Protection Advisory Council, which will be used to fight youth homelessness and review the foster care system.

20 Cheapest Places to Live in Minnesota for 2024

Minnesota Now has compiled a list of the most budget-friendly places to call home in the Land of 10,000 Lakes for 2024. The list is based solely on the sum of seven basic and necessary expenses for a family of four (two parents, two kids): housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, other necessities, and taxes -- as provided in the latest EPI dataset.

Gallery Credit: Minnesota Now

The Center Square is a project of the 501(c)(3) Franklin News Foundation. We engage readers with essential news, data and analysis – delivered with velocity, frequency and consistency. If you would like to read the original article, click here.