Minnesota Family Investment Program

The Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) is the state’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), or welfare-to-work program.

Children in families accessing MFIP live in or near deep poverty (defined as 50 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or about $12,000 per year for a family of four) and are some of the state’s most vulnerable to effects of economic instability. The program has few policies and minimal data collection to assess the well-being of children on the program. However, nearly 71 percent of people in households accessing MFIP are children and most MFIP households have a child under age 6. For a family of three MFIP provides a maximum cash grant of $532 and food assistance of $473 per month. The cash grant hasn’t been raised since 1986 and doesn’t allow families to meet the barest of budgets. Fair Market Rent in Hennepin County is $920, nearly twice the cash grant, and only 28 percent of MFIP families live in subsidized housing. Children in households accessing MFIP are at risk of or are already experiencing the harmful effects of living in deep poverty that can last a lifetime.

Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota is working to improve outcomes for children and families accessing MFIP by advocating for:

  • increasing the grant, 
  • improving access to high-quality early childhood education, 
  • stimulating parents’ earning potential, and 
  • tracking outcomes for children on MFIP.