Food Banks Need Our Help In Iowa

PBS story on food banks in the US (7:10)

As we posted last week, the Johnson County CommUnity sent out an emergency letter stating that reserves were low and requesting donations. You can be certain that if the Iowa City area is in need of donations, every other part of Iowa is probably in need of donations also.

The folks at Progress Iowa have been on top of this in their High Five newsletter. Wednesday they referenced an article from Axios Des Moines discussing the food shortage in Iowa. They make some very important points that I think most Iowans miss.  

Whatever reason folks have to seek help from food banks makes no difference. It should be America’s great shame that such a need even exists in the wealthiest country by far that the world has ever seen.

Axios noted that during the pandemic Iowa households getting SNAP benefits got an extra $200 per month in benefits. Iowa (Corporate Kim) ended that program a year ago in an effort to force people to join the labor force to cut Iowa’s labor shortage. Axios then adds:

Yes, but: In an effort to add more employees into the workforce, Iowa chose to leave the program early, ending the additional dollars in April 2022.

  • That led to spikes in food assistance at pantries like DMARC. One in six Des Moines residents went to a DMARC pantry in 2022.

What’s next: The demand isn’t expected to slow down with inflation, while new SNAP-related bills in the Legislature could create more difficulties for recipients, says Luke Elzinga of DMARC.

  • The Iowa House and Senate are both considering SNAP-related bills to create more restrictions on who can qualify for food assistance, Elzinga tells Axios.

  • Both bills contain a $15,000 asset limit with exemptions for vehicles.

  • They would also require real-time eligibility verification, which requires recipients fill out paperwork within a 10-day notice if there’s an employment change.

What is really interesting is that neither the governor nor the legislature addressed issues such as low pay and child care and child care costs in a serious manner. Iowa still remains a low wage state at the bottom. 

Somehow our legislative brain trust can’t seem to make the connection between low wages, poverty and hunger. Add in child care and those costs that keep many women in particular out of the work force or in low wage jobs.

Cuts in pandemic relief programs, inflation and low wages in Iowa have created a real crisis situation for what for many is the last resort – the local food bank.

Once again we will ask our readers to donate to their local food banks. 

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
This entry was posted in food, Food Insecurity, Hunger In America, Iowa legislature 2023, poverty, Republican Policy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Food Banks Need Our Help In Iowa

  1. shivani says:

    Iowa needs help.


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