The Food Rescue Partnership Board encourages our lawmakers to continue supporting food access for Iowans.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the nation’s most important and effective tool at addressing hunger and food insecurity. In November 2022, SNAP provided $45.6 million benefits to 273,085 Iowans. In Scott County, 11.98% of residents benefited from SNAP assistance spending $1.98 average per meal benefit per individual.
Since 2013, the Food Rescue Partnership has prioritized the need to improve food availability by building a strong, well-connected food rescue network. Because hunger does not affect one type of person or one geographic location. Young or old. Rural or urban. Hunger affects 1 in 7 people throughout the United States and 229,500 Iowans.
Supporting House File 3 threatens individual food choice, increases stress on already strained food pantries, and negatively impacts overall health of Iowans by increasing hunger and food insecurity. A research project in Davenport has identified foods needed by food pantry recipients and to make use of existing foods from local pantries. Many of the items identified by participants would be excluded by SNAP if these changes are implemented. Increasing choice reduces waste. Specifically, restrictions on choice within SNAP will limit participant access to the foods they and their families need. Limiting SNAP participants’ choices means they will have no access to supplemental items needed, such as ingredients to prepare meals at home. The harmful proposals in the bill include:
- Restricting SNAP purchases to only foods on the WIC approved food item list.
- Establishing an asset limit for SNAP.
- Performing regular eligibility verification checks for SNAP and Medicaid.
- Requiring participation in the SNAP Employment & Training program.
- Requiring custodial parents to cooperate with the child support recovery unit.
Therefore, the Food Rescue Partnership Board does not support any efforts to restrict food purchases or establish an asset limit for SNAP. The Food Rescue Partnership supports efforts to improve food access and SNAP incentives to support Iowans making healthy choices such as Double Up Food Bucks.
To learn more about how you can protect SNAP, please visit the Iowa Hunger Coalition website.