Iowa won’t participate in US food assistance program for kids this summer

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa will not participate this summer in a federal program that gives $40 per month to each child in a low-income family to help with food costs while school is out, state officials have announced.


The state has notified the U.S. Department of Agriculture that it will not participate in the 2024 Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children — or Summer EBT — program, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education said in a news release.


Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds said the Summer EBT program “does nothing to promote nutrition at a time when childhood obesity has become an epidemic.” 


Some state lawmakers quickly opposed the decision, saying it is “cruel” and “short-sighted” to reject federal money that could put food on the table for hungry kids. 


At least 18 states and territories and two tribal nations have announced they intend to participate in the program.