Iowa Governor Press Conference Held at Food Bank of Iowa
Press conference regarding Feeding Iowans Task Force
Food Bank of Iowa welcomed Governor Kim Reynolds to host her press conference at their facility on May 12, 2021. Gov. Reynolds spoke about the Feeding Iowans Task Force and the impact of the pandemic on food insecurity among Iowans.
Gov. Reynolds created the Feeding Iowans Task Force in March 2020 to assist Iowans experiencing food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. The objective was to understand the complete picture of the feeding operations across all applicable populations, identify any current or potential shortfalls in Iowa’s ability to continue feeding operations and help procure resources to fill the gap to ensure no Iowan goes to bed hungry. The task force met these objectives by raising awareness of hunger, supporting the food supply chain and connecting Iowans with food resources during the pandemic.
“COVID-19 created an economic food insecurity crisis unlike anything since the Great Depression,” said Tami Nielsen, Vice President of Partners and Programs. “Food Bank of Iowa showed up and served 55 Iowa counties quickly, equitably and safely. Food Bank of Iowa would not have been able to respond to the high level of need without the efforts and support of the Feeding Iowans Task Force. This is another wonderful example of Iowans helping Iowans.”
According to Gov. Reynolds, food insecurity among Iowans increased 51% in the first three months of the pandemic. In March of 2020, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) applications rose by 163%.
Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg stated that more than 38.4 million meals were provided to Iowans through the Feeding Iowans Task Force efforts. Although Lt. Gov. Gregg announced they will be scaling back the efforts of the task force, they are planning to use the relationships they have built to continue the conversation about food insecurity in other ways.
“I’m proud of the work the Feeding Iowans Task Force did to identify gaps in Iowa’s food system, establish programs to shore up supply chains, and distribute support across a wide-array of feeding initiatives in the state,” said Governor Reynolds. “The Feeding Iowans Task Force showed how Iowans are able to come together, collaborate, innovate and step up to help those in need all while creating a strategic blueprint to use in the future.”
Any organization or individual interested in joining the fight for a hunger-free Iowa can volunteer, donate and find advocacy information at FoodBankIowa.org.