Food insecurity continues to be a major problem for thousands of Iowa families. This past Tuesday, DMARC set a new, single day record assisting people needing food for their tables.
The previous record for a single day was set in January assisting 1,529 individuals as families were coming out of the holidays. The new record of over 1,725 comes at a time when kids are in school, where meals are provided.
“This not the time of year we typically set records,” DMARC CEO Matt Unger said.
According to DMARC, the organization saw a 35 percent jump in people needing help in April of 2023 compared to 2022, with a total 19,305 people visiting pantries they operate.
The organization pointed to inflation as the main driver behind people needing help, according to a news release. April also marked twelve consecutive months where a monthly record was set for first time visitors to the DMARC food pantry network.
In March Iowa lawmakers passed SF 494, legislation regarding SNAP benefits which could remove an estimated 2,800 Iowans from SNAP and other public assistance programs in an effort to prevent fraud.
“We have school still in session so kids are still able to get meals in school. We know that’s going to get more complicated for families in need over the summer and with this bill that’s looming, we’re really hopeful the Governor will veto that bill because now is just not the time to make our assistance programs harder to reach,” Unger said.
Governor Reynolds has not indicated publicly what she plans to do with the bill as it awaits her decision.