Iowa Hunger Coalition
2018 Legislative Questionnaire
|Question||Kim Reynolds (R)||Fred Hubbell (D)||Gary Siegwarth (I)|
|As of August 2018, 340,538 Iowans currently participate in the Food Assistance Program, known federally as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Do you support Food Assistance in its current form? If not, what changes would you propose?||Did not respond||Did not respond||I support SNAP in its current form, while we work to make it better by making sure food being purchased is as healthy as possible and it supports local producers as much as possible. Healthy, locally grown food is healthier in both the short and long-term and it supports local economies. Along with this food, we should offer fun classes that help teach young parent s simple way to prepare food, while connecting them to other people in their communities. There are also plenty of local people in our communities that are more than willing to offer garden space and provide food donations if we better supported and recognized them. It takes a supportive village to raise a family. This is a part of the whole program that needs to be better integrated, which will bring people together within our communities while helping those in need at the same time.|
|During the last legislative session, numerous changes to Food Assistance were proposed, including limitations on food selections, increase to required work hours, increased monitoring and reporting and others. Would you support any of these proposed measures? Please explain why or why not.||Did not respond||Did not respond||I believe we can always make a program better if we all work together to do it. Sending changes down the way they are doing it through Farm Bill legislation is not necessarily the way to do it. I know for a fact there is some abuse of the system, I’ve seen it. However, I think the wrong people are proposing the changes. Improvements need to be made from the bottom up, not the top down. If given a choice, most people would not choose assistance so maybe more effort should be expended in empowering people rather than threatening to take something away. When people feel a part of something, they are much more likely to take a vested interest. Local control of any monitoring and reporting is the key to its improvement and success.|
|How would you work to ensure that programs providing critical nutrition services in the communities like food banks, pantries and food rescue organizations, would be supported to continue this necessary work?||Did not respond||Did not respond||Again, local control and involvement is the key. Our local food pantries are very well run and supported by local residents and the local community. Unfortunately not every community has this level of support so there has to be a fail-safe mechanism that could provide a regional network of support from a group of small communities. One of my main platform issues is to diversify agriculture beyond corn and soybeans, which can bring more diversity of people, opportunities, and locally grown food to our rural communities. This will not only provide more opportunities for families to return to our rural landscape and communities, but will provide opportunities for those in need of close to home opportunities. Our goal should be for our communities to become self-sufficient and sharing.|
|Do you think the state has a financial role in supporting the feeding of its vulnerable, food insecure citizens? Please explain why or why not. If you believe the state does have a role, please outline what that role is and how it should be executed.||Did not respond||Did not respond||I believe our state has both financial and supporting role in protecting our food vulnerable citizens, so do our local communities. What our state and federal programs need to get better at is making sure that assistance is a hand up rather than a long-term handout whenever possible. For most, there are plenty of ways to transition out of assistance with the right incentives and support. For others who for some reason can’t make ends meet, we just need to support them. It all starts locally and works out from there if needed. Better involving local people and support is the best way to build a strong and interactive community because it brings residents and those in need together. If those needs can’t be met locally, then state funding needs to be made available until it can be met.|
Iowa Hunger Coalition
2018 Legislative Questionnaire
Congressional District 1 Candidates
|Question||Rod Blum (R)||Abby Finkenauer (D)*||Troy Hageman (L)|
|Per Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap 2018, approximately 87,960 Iowans in Congressional District 1 are food insecure. As a member of Congress, how will you work to end hunger in the communities you serve?||In a country of plenty, no American should go hungry. I am a strong advocate for protecting access to nutrition and services for our most vulnerable populations—children, veterans, the elderly, and disabled individuals.
However, able-bodied, working-age adults should be given the opportunity to pursue education or training to enter the workforce—a hand up, not a handout. As our economy is on the rise and unemployment is at a historic low, employers across Iowa are struggling to fill job vacancies. We should work to equip all Iowans with the tools they need to successfully enter the workforce and put food on their families’ tables. I have had ongoing discussions with our community stakeholders on workforce development programs, including on the job and vocational training.
I have visited and distributed food at the Northeast Iowa Food Bank many times with my wife and daughter, and I support the important work they do and the vital impact they have on food insecurity.
|Ensuring the well-being of families all across the first district will be my top goal in Congress. Food insecurity is a critical issue that affects not only the health of our families, but also opportunity. Students who go to school hungry have a bigger challenge in learning, while working Iowans impacted by hunger will have more difficulty excelling in their job – compounding the challenge of hunger. As a critical part of America’s breadbasket with a strong farming community, no family should go hungry in eastern Iowa.
I’ll work to make sure that robust resources are in place to fight hunger, from school lunch programs for our kids to a strong non-profit community that helps those in need. And we also must take steps to increase access to healthy food options in all our communities so no families suffer from food deserts.
|Did not respond|
|As of August 2018, 340,538 Iowans currently participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Do you support SNAP in its current form? If not, what changes would you propose?||Rep. Blum did not provide separate answers to the survey.||SNAP is an important program that helps those who are down on their luck get back on their feet again so they can get on with their lives. Too often, Washington has used SNAP as a bargaining chip or an opportunity to make budget cuts. I will always work to cut down on waste, fraud, and abuse across the federal government, but I will oppose changes to SNAP that seek to harm those who need it most and prevent it form fulfilling its intended purpose of strengthening our communities.||Did not respond|
|Per the Iowa Department of Education, as of May 2018, over 40% of Iowa’s K-12 school children qualify for free or reduced meals. How will you work to strengthen federal child nutrition programs like Community Eligibility Program (CEP), School Breakfast, School Lunch, the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)?||Rep. Blum did not provide separate answers to the survey.||Numerous studies have shown that children who aren’t getting adequate nutrition experience far worse educational outcomes than their peers. But it also doesn’t take a study to know that if a child is hungry, they can’t focus on learning. School nutrition programs are a critical tool to boost opportunity for Iowa’s children by ensuring they all have the chance to learn and grow. I will fight to defend them in Congress.||Did not respond|
|How would you work to ensure that programs providing critical nutrition services in the communities like food banks, pantries and food rescue organizations, would be supported to continue this necessary work?||Rep. Blum did not provide separate answers to the survey.||Government cannot fight or solve hunger by itself. Iowans help each other out, and local community organizations and neighbors are some of the most effective fighters of food insecurity. I will always be a partner to these groups to ensure they are getting the resources they need to keep our communities healthy, and they will have a strong ally and voice in Congress as long as I’m there.||Did not respond|
* Abby Finkenauer responded to the survey on Oct. 31, 2018. Her answers have been added in place of “Did not respond.”
Iowa Hunger Coalition
2018 Legislative Questionnaire
Congressional District 2 Candidates
|Question||Dave Loebsack (D)*||Christopher Peters (R)||Mark Strauss||Daniel Clark|
|Per Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap 2018, approximately 96,840 Iowans in Congressional District 2 are food insecure.
As a member of Congress, how will you work to end hunger in the communities you serve?
|Did not respond||Did not respond||Income equality is the best thing we can do, While I do support raising the minimum wage, I feel this set’s another, NEW low bar as to what someone can be paid. I would prefer a max to average pay ratio on publicly traded companies of 20 to 1, so the CEO cannot make more than 20 times the average employee. Privately owned companies would then have to compete for the best people. THIS RISING TIDE WOULD FLOAT ALL BOATS !||I would start by advocating for a living wage and advocating that we prioritize our interest to the working class not the richest in our communities.|
|As of August 2018, 340,538 Iowans currently participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Do you support SNAP in its current form? If not, what changes would you propose?||Did not respond||Did not respond||Again, we need to address the job market and pay scales. I do not want to see anyone in America go hungry, I would also like to separate SNAP from any farm bill, this is a real problem that deserves it’s own voice. We should not be burying it along side what we pay farmers to grow or not to grow certain crops, SNAP is a social program, NOT A FARMERS BUSINESS.||I do support SNAP but I feel that it needs to be expanded. I talk to too many people who say they are trapped in the bubble of making too much for SNAP but not enough to get by.|
|Per the Iowa Department of Education, as of May 2018, over 40% of Iowa’s K-12 school children qualify for free or reduced meals. How will you work to strengthen federal child nutrition programs like Community Eligibility Program (CEP), School Breakfast, School Lunch, the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CAFP)?||Did not respond||Did not respond||Let’s take income out of this equation, K-12 Schools should be a place of refuge, (so to speak) where no matter how difficult a childs home life is, School all is equal, everyone gets a meal, no one knows who needs it, no child needs to pay for a breakfast or lunch EVERY CHILD IS EQUAL.||I believe in strengthening our public schools with more funding focused on helping those students who are most in need.|
|How would you work to ensure that programs providing critical nutrition services in the communities like food banks, pantries and food rescue organizations, would be supported to continue this necessary work?||Did not respond||Did not respond||Our economy is not a monopoly game, in that game 1 person wins and everyone else loses. It’s time to put rules in the game that benefits all, not the few. I know that local churches and charities have been picking this up, but in the future with AI and robotics looming on the horizon government will need to increase involvement. This will mean additional corporate and the 1% billionaire taxes.||I would try to work with those who have kept these services working like the Food Bank of Iowa and listen to how they have been so successful.|
Iowa Hunger Coalition
2018 Legislative Questionnaire
Congressional District 3 Candidates
|Question||David Young (R)||Cindy Axne (D)||Joe Grandanette||Paul Knupp (G)||Mark Elworth, Jr. (LMN)||Bryan Holder (L)|
|Per Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap 2018, approximately 90,480 Iowans in Congressional District 3 are food insecure. As a member of Congress, how will you work to end hunger in the communities you serve?||I co-founded the House Food Waste Caucus with the goal to repurpose unused food, rescue food, and get it to those who need it. The Caucus brings together stakeholders in our communities to find the most effective ways to reduce food waste and end hunger. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I’ve continually supported nutrition programs.||No person should ever have to go to bed hungry. I will work closely with state and local government, as well as with our community partners to make sure that we are enacting policies at the federal level that actually work for Iowans in need.||What is the governments role to feed people. The government is there to help short term. People need to take responsibility for themselves. Find out who needs help. Make sure they have the basic needs and start getting people to move in the right direction. We help the kids and the elderly. The rest of us have to take responsibility for ourselves. You do this be getting a job and working hard.||In my soon-to-be federal centers in each of my 16 counties, I will supply free government food for the taking.||I would support food programs like snap. I would also support job creation projects. I also support government funded innovation to create new and better industry for our state. Nobody in Iowa or our country should be hungry. I support taxing sugary drinks and junk food to provide addition funding towards programs to make you healthier like snap or medicare/medicaid. We need people to eat healthy not just eat.||Did not respond|
|As of August 2018, 340,538 Iowans currently participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Do you support SNAP in its current form? If not, what changes would you propose?||I support SNAP because it helps provide food to those who need it most. SNAP can be reformed and made better without reducing benefits to those who need them. With unemployment in Iowa at 2.5%, many employers are looking for skilled workers and free enhanced job training can help those able bodied and able minded Iowans without young children to get training, secure a good paying job and hopefully be able to move off SNAP because they are in a stronger financial position. I believe SNAP should always be there as a safety net for those in need.||We need to protect programs, like SNAP, that provide Food Assistance to our most vulnerable populations. Here in Iowa, over 43% of our SNAP recipients are minors and 10% are seniors, which means that the program is helping feed our most vulnerable populations.||SNAP should not be attached to the Farm Bill. Do a complete audit and see where we can improve. Stop all the fraud from schools that are getting more SNAP than they should.||Yes, we need to re-institute SNAP. However, the income guidelines need to be relaxed to include more families. In addition, the award amounts need to be increased.||I fully support a snap program. I think it should be easy for people to get the help they need.||Did not respond|
|Per the Iowa Department of Education, as of May 2018, over 40% of Iowa’s K-12 school children qualify for free or reduced meals. How will you work to strengthen federal child nutrition programs like Community Eligibility Program (CEP), School Breakfast, School Lunch, the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)?||As Iowa’s only voice on the Appropriations Committee and a member of the Agriculture Subcommittee which funds these programs, I have supported continued funding for child nutrition programs and will continue to do so.||There is no reason that a child in America, especially here in Iowa, should have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from. I am a strong supporter of the federal child nutrition programs that allow our schools to help feed its students, and will fight to protect and increase funding for these programs.||You need a complete audit to find out what is working and what is not working. Keep what is working and sunset programs that are not working. Run it like your own business. Keep the overhead low. Can some of these programs be combined so that there is more food for the students.||Once again, income qualifications need relaxed and awards increased. A federal food monitor in every school district could help assess the programs effectiveness and needs.||Well I’d make it a prosperity to make sure kids eat healthy, because you can’t learn if your hungry and these kids need to worry about learning and not being hungry.||Did not respond|
|As part of my work with the Food Waste Caucus, I have been learning what Iowans in our communities are doing to feed the hungry and reduce waste. I’ve seen first-hand how important our food banks, pantries, and food rescue organizations are helping Iowans in need. I recently joined Eat Greater Des Moines to rescue food from a Kum & Go and delivered it to those who needed it. I will continue to promote the work these dedicated organizations do and find ways the federal government can be helpful in scaling up programs and getting government out of the way where needed.||When I was at the State of Iowa, I worked on a number of our community-government partnerships. I know that when we all work together to tackle our state’s biggest issues, we solve problems. I will constantly work with our partners who are doing the hard work on the ground to make sure that we are supplementing their efforts with the right policies at the federal level.||Have a complete audit on all agencies and see where we can provide better services. What works and what does not work. And is there a sunset to programs that do not need to be anymore. Can we do a better job with providing our services that are overlapping with other government agencies. Probably. This will free up money to the programs that need it.||The federal government needs to subsidize these food service entities. Grants would listen the time and effort they must expend to raise operating funds.||I would stand up for the rights of these organizations to be tax free. I’d also work on getting these organizations grants so they can continue to get people help.||Did not respond|
Iowa Hunger Coalition
2018 Legislative Questionnaire
Congressional District 4 Candidates
|Question||Steve King (R)*||J.D. Scholten (D)||Charles Aldrich (L)||Edward Peterson|
|Per Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap 2018, approximately 85,260 Iowans in Congressional District 4 are food insecure. As a member of Congress, how will you work to end hunger in the communities you serve?||Did not respond||Did not respond||I will work to get the first $350 earned each week exempt from government confiscation, or a higher amount if the working person is supporting more than just themselves. I will work to transition to more local control of programs and less federal control of the programs.||I do agree that we need to support those programs that work to provide food and proper nutrition for Iowans (as well as throughout the US). As far as what steps I would take to strengthen the programs you mentioned, I can’t really point to specific actions. The main reason being that, as with every issue I would face, my goal will be to find common ground among my constituents, and based on that use common sense to promote the best decision for America, with special attention to Iowa’s 4th district in particular.
I know that may seem like the type of non-committal answer politicians were derided for in my early adult years, but our current political climate necessitates a more moderate (or centrist) course of action in order to find the best solutions, rather than one side or the other trying to force through any individual proposal.
|Did not respond||Did not respond||SNAP is a valuable program to lots of people. I will support SNAP.||See above response|
|Per the Iowa Department of Education, as of May 2018, over 40% of Iowa’s K-12 school children qualify for free or reduced meals. How will you work to strengthen federal child nutrition programs like Community Eligibility Program (CEP), School Breakfast, School Lunch, the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)?||Did not respond||Did not respond||What percentage qualify for free and what percentage qualify for reduced? I would transition control from federal to local control.||See above response|
|Did not respond||Did not respond||People in communities are in the best position to determine which programs are necessary and provide benefit to the community, so I would strive to transition control from federal to local.||See above response|