A Letter from the Board Chair

Hi everyone! It’s me, Luke Elzinga, board chair of the Iowa Hunger Coalition.

I hope you’re having a great start to your summer! It’s a bittersweet time for Iowa, as other states are getting ready to issue their first month of benefits through Summer EBT, which was recently rebranded as SUN Bucks.

Families across the state will be grappling with additional food costs as children are out of school, and while a new grant program from the state will expand summer meal sites, significant barriers to access summer meal sites will persist for many Iowans.

But the reason I wanted to reach out to you today to thank you was to thank you for your support this past legislative session. Your calls, emails, and personal outreach to legislators did not go unnoticed!

Thanks to your help, and the help of all our advocates and partners…

  • We successfully lobbied for the creation of the Choose Iowa Food Purchasing Pilot Project, which will provide $300,000 in matching funds for local food purchases by schools, food banks, and emergency feeding organizations.

  • We worked with members of both parties to introduce legislation to invest in Double Up Food Bucks, expand free school meals, and support grocery stores located in food deserts. Unfortunately, none of these bipartisan policies advanced this session.

  • We successfully pushed back against harmful legislation that would have imposed unnecessary barriers to access public assistance for eligible non-citizens and further criminalized homelessness.

We are so appreciative of your relentless advocacy. You are the fuel that keeps us going!

IHC can only do what we do thanks to the support of our network of advocates. I want to give a special shout-out to our dues-paying members, both individuals and organizations. The financial support provided by our membership allows us to keep doing this important work.

If you are not already a dues-paying member of the Iowa Hunger Coalition, I’m asking you today to please consider becoming one. While we do have suggested contributions, we do not want cost to be a barrier that prevents any individual or organization from joining the coalition.

Want to learn more about becoming a member of IHC? We’d be happy to talk with you about the benefits of membership and joining our coalition. Contact us at iowahungercoalition@gmail.com.

At the Iowa Hunger Coalition, we’re not afraid to be bold in our advocacy. Iowa is facing a food insecurity crisis, and that requires us to challenge persistent narratives and demand more from our elected officials. If you haven’t already seen, we are excited to unveil our new mission and guiding principles. I hope they resonate with you as much as they’ve resonated with our board of directors and membership.


Working to end hunger in Iowa through education, advocacy, and policy change rooted in justice.

Guiding Principles:

  • Hunger is a policy choice.
  • Nutritious food is a human right.
  • Ending hunger requires solidarity, not just charity.

Finally, I want to invite you to attend IHC’s annual meeting on Tuesday, June 25, from 1:00-3:00pm. Like last year, we’ll be meeting at the DMARC Food Pantry Network, 100 Army Post Road, Des Moines, Iowa – with a virtual option to attend as well. Lunch will be served starting at 12:00pm for in-person attendees.

Our network of advocates never fails to impress me. We constantly punch above our weight. We take stances and push for policies other organizations shy away from. We challenge the status quo. We lead with empathy, and acknowledge we always have room to improve. And perhaps most important of all: we support, encourage, and inspire each other.

I can’t say it enough: thank you for all you do. I, along with the entire IHC board of directors, am so appreciative of your support.

And don’t forget—I’m always just an email away. Please reach out to me at iowahungercoalition@gmail.com if you ever want to chat.

I hope we’re able to connect soon,

Luke Elzinga
Board Chair, Iowa Hunger Coalition

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