A mobile food pantry in Estherville was just forced to postpone its services because of an impending blizzard, according to the Dickinson County News.
What does that mean for hungry Iowans?
With the coronavirus public health emergency and its economic fallout, the derecho, and high heating bills during this cold, dark winter, many Iowans are faced with food insecurity, many for the first time. Our neighbors are experiencing hunger. They need our help.
Progressives help our neighbors in need, so I support your personal efforts. But progressives also believe in system change to uplift people’s lives.
For food security, system change begins with Iowa joining dozens of other states that already provide ongoing state food assistance, at least during this public health emergency. In Iowa, the breadbasket of the world, no one should go hungry.
In December, Senator Sarah Trone Garriott wrote a guest column outlining ideas for state food assistance.
Now, we are back with bills filed to implement some of those ideas, and hopes for bipartisan bills yet to be introduced.
Senate File 153 would provide $12 million to food banks and other feeding entities across Iowa to make sure they have the resources we need to feed hungry Iowans.
Senate File 157, written by Senator Jackie Smith of Sioux City, would provide $5 million for our community action agencies for food supplies and food deliveries to Iowans who need that service.
Senate File 147 would provide funds so that every SNAP recipient in Iowa could get a $20 gift card to get take-out food from a restaurant. This is a win-win proposal: a little dignity for SNAP recipients, and more customers for Iowa’s hurting restaurant industry.
Please speak up for these bills with your state legislators. Contact information is available at here.
These bills are only one step we can take, but they are an important step. Working together, and building our power for a better future, we can make sure that Iowans get the food assistance they need now, and we can reform our economy to build a safer and healthier future with broad prosperity for all.
We also need your help stopping two bad bills: Senate Study Bill 1125, a bill to restrict who is eligible for SNAP food assistance, and Senate Study Bill 1061, a bill for more penalties for people allegedly using SNAP benefits improperly, which the Iowa Hunger Coalition is opposing.
Thanks for speaking up today!