IOWA — Before COVID-19, 10 percent of Iowans were food insecure, meaning they don’t have access consistently to enough nutrition to live a healthy life. Michelle Book, President and CEO of the Food Bank of Iowa says one-third of them are children.
“These are our neighbors, family members, friends struggling to put food on the table and one in eight children in Iowa don’t have food at home when they come home from school. That is NOT acceptable.”
Book says several issues need to be addressed in order for the situation to improve. “If we don’t address the lack of affordable housing, access to daycare and the affordability, mental healthcare and healthcare in general…if we don’t fix those things we will continue to have people living in poverty.”
According to the Department of Human Services the average person using SNAP – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – is a 28-year-old white female. Book says on average, women in the state of Iowa make about $34,000 a year. “If a third of that is going to a daycare bill, what’s left? What’s left to feed your family?”
The Food Bank of Iowa can make a very small monetary donation go a long way. Because of its relationships with food producers, it’s able to turn one dollar into four meals to help struggling Iowans make ends meet.
You can make a difference by donating at www.foodbankiowa.org.