Iowa anti-hunger groups join 1,400+ organizations across the nation in calling to protect and strengthen SNAP

The national coalition letter urges Congress to reject $30 billion cut to SNAP over 10 years and return to a bipartisan Farm Bill 

18 Iowa-based organizations are part of a statewide and national effort urging Congress to prioritize protecting and strengthening the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the upcoming Farm Bill and any other legislative vehicles moving forward.

18 Iowa-based groups have joined more than 1,400 national, state, and local organizations representing communities from across the country, in signing a letter urging Congress to ensure that benefit adequacy, equitable access, and program administration, remain core tenets of SNAP. 

Iowa groups that signed on to the letter include:

  • Common Good Iowa
  • Coralville Community Food Pantry
  • Corridor Community Action Network
  • Des Moines Area Religious Council
  • Des Moines Education Association
  • Disability Rights Iowa
  • Iowa ACEs 360
  • Iowa Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers  
  • Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
  • Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Iowa Community Action Association
  • Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
  • Iowa Food Bank Association
  • Iowa Hunger Coalition
  • Iowa State Education Association
  • Monsoon Asians & Pacific Islanders in Solidarity
  • RESULTS Iowa
  • Southeast Linn Community Center

“More must be done to ensure that SNAP benefits reach all those in need in Iowa so they have access to the nutrition they need to thrive,” said Luke Elzinga, board chair of the Iowa Hunger Coalition and policy and advocacy manager at the DMARC Food Pantry Network. “When we have food banks, food pantries, and other anti-hunger organizations assisting record-breaking numbers of people across the state, SNAP enrollment should not be at a 16-year low in Iowa.”

To safeguard SNAP, efforts to create a cost-neutral Thrifty Food Plan, which SNAP benefits are based on, must be rejected. This includes opposing any proposed cuts, such as restricting future Thrifty Food Plan benefit adjustments, which could result in nearly $30 billion in cuts over 10 years. Such a cost-neutral plan would also negatively impact Summer EBT, the Emergency Food Assistance Program, and Puerto Rico’s Nutrition Assistance Program.

RELATED: House Farm Bill Proposal Threatens SNAP Purchasing Power

“Poverty is extremely complex, touching every aspect of life, from food security to health outcomes,” said Mandi Remington, Director of Corridor Community Action Network. “The level of need among Iowans is rising, and current resources are not adequate for families struggling to make ends meet. A strong, bipartisan Farm Bill is crucial to protect and strengthen SNAP, so that all families can access the nutrition they need to thrive.”

Research underscores the economic and health benefits of SNAP. Every dollar invested in SNAP generates between $1.50 and $1.80 in economic activity during an economic downturn and supports local economies. In doing so, SNAP improves health outcomes, which results in reducing Medicaid costs associated with food insecurity. 

“Every educator knows that when students are hungry, it is difficult to concentrate on lessons and retain information. Access to healthy, nutritious food without worrying about where their next meal comes from helps students focus on learning in school. It significantly enhances their learning capabilities, providing the best possible path to a positive school experience,” said Coy Marquardt, Executive Director of the Iowa State Education Association.

Despite its strengths, SNAP benefits remain modest, averaging only $5.56 per person per day in Iowa. At a time when living expenses are on the rise, it is imperative that Congress utilizes the power of the U.S. government to strengthen SNAP through several ways, including by improving benefit adequacy, permitting purchase of hot foods, simplifying the eligibility requirements, and protecting participants from benefit theft.

“Anti-hunger advocates in Iowa stand ready to oppose any legislation that would undermine SNAP’s proven effectiveness in helping 265,000 people in Iowa afford to put food on the table,” said Elzinga. “History has repeatedly shown that the only viable path to passing a Farm Bill is a strong bipartisan effort that involves all stakeholders engaged at the table.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *