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State Auditor Rob Sand Rewards Unemployed Iowans for Supporting Local Restaurants


DES MOINES, Iowa — State Auditor Rob Sand has launched a new program to help recently unemployed Iowans, in exchange that they help local businesses.

Sand said the goal is to support not just the unemployed, but restaurants facing hardship during the pandemic.

“When we have something like this going on where a lot of people are in need, every one of us – no matter what our position is – should be asking what more can I do?” he said.

Sand is funding the initiative by donating a month of his salary to a coronavirus aid fund he made, as well as the $10,000 raised for the effort. If you would like to donate to the fund, you can Venmo @IowaHi.

Toby Cain of Deborah recently became unemployed and received $20 from the program Wednesday. She said it felt better to give back to the community rather than get free cash.

“I thought about it way less as a benefit to me as a recently unemployed person, and way more of a benefit to a restaurant that really need that help,” she said. “It was just a really nice treat that felt particularly good in this stressful moment.”

Anyone who was laid off because of the coronavirus can receive $20 in exchange for supporting a local restaurant. To qualify, Sand said Iowans must have applied for unemployment and email proof of that, plus a receipt from the restaurant they ordered from. He also asks to include a Venmo or PayPal account for the money to be sent to.


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