Iowa Hunger Coalition rally at statehouse

DES MOINES — The Iowa Hunger Coalition is calling on the legislature to take action and accept additional federal food assistance for low-income Iowa kids. The program would provide an extra $120 of food aid over the summer for 240,000 Iowa kids who qualify for free or reduced price school lunches.

Governor Kim Reynolds announced last month that Iowa won’t accept the federal money because of administrative costs to the state and because the program does not address the childhood obesity epidemic.

Mandi Remington of Iowa City says she barely makes enough money to support her three kids on her own, and the pandemic version of this program helped her a lot. “We find ourselves stretching food at the end of the month, and that pandemic EBT made a really big difference in that in allowing us to continue have fresh foods rather than just struggling with what we could throw together out of cans,” she says.

The Iowa Hunger Coalition held a rally at the state capitol Wednesday and has launched a petition drive to encourage Republican leaders to take action.