The Iowa Food Bank Association' Policy Priorities
IFBA believes partnerships are critical to alleviating hunger. We track state and federal policy and lead advocacy efforts for our six partner Feeding America Food Banks. We focus on policies that make us more efficient and effective in serving the more than 229,500 adults, children, and seniors facing hunger in Iowa.
IFBA and our member food banks work closely with Feeding America to track federal nutrition programs, but the following will always be priorities.
The Farm Bill is a package of legislation that covers agricultural and nutrition policy and rural development programs. It is reviewed every five years and includes two vital anti-hunger programs, TEFAP and SNAP.
- The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) helped the Feeding America food bank network distribute 1.7 billion meals to neighbors in need in 2021.
- TEFAP supports US farmers and growers by purchasing U.S.-grown food.
- The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides food to 276,964 Iowans, two-thirds of who belong to our most vulnerable populations: children, seniors, and people with disabilities.
- SNAP helps farmers and local retailers. In fact, every SNAP dollar adds between $1.50 and $1.80 to the local economy.
Child Nutrition Programs are a priority because one in eight children struggle to know where their next meal will come from. This impacts health and education. In fact, children consume up to 50 percent of their total daily calories at school, but when summer begins, 83 percent of children eligible for summer meals do not participate. IFBA advocates to elected officials to ensure the following programs are adequate funded and easily accessible:
- School Breakfast Program (SBP)
- National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- Summer and afterschool nutrition programs, such as the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
Defend Iowan’s Access to SNAP
State Appropriations for Local Food Purchasing
If you want to learn more about the anti-hunger policy issues and how to advocate to end hunger in Iowa, you can visit these sites:
- The Feeding America site is a vital source of information. Its Hunger in America, Take Action, and Blog pages include specifics on general policy issues, actions to take, and stories to share about the fight against hunger in the US.
- Visit the Map the Meal Gap page to learn about food insecurity in Iowa and across the country.
- Join our email list to get updates.
- Follow Iowa Food Bank Association on Facebook to learn more about the issues and what is happening near you
- Feeding America Action also contains valuable information on the issues, policies, and state-by-state resources.
- Download River Bend Food Bank’s Anti-Hunger Advocacy Tool Kit to learn more ways to get involved such as writing a letter to the editor or meeting with your elected officials.
- Contact Congress and ask them to fight to fully fund anti-hunger policies.