Iowa Lt. Gov. Reynolds Defends Food Spending Veto

Volunteers, left to right, Peg Geren, Pat Boyle, sister RoseAnn Boyle, and Rose Bentler, hidden at right, sort and organize boxes of can goods at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry Thursday Sept. 20, 2007 in the basement of St. John's Catholic Church in Burlington, Iowa. The pantry gets a large shipment of food twice weekly from the Iowa Food Bank.(AP Photo/The Hawk Eye, John Gaines)

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By Kara Kelly

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa's lieutenant governor is defending Gov. Terry Branstad's decision to block a $500,000 allocation to the Iowa Food Bank Association, saying such efforts need to be driven by the private sector rather than state government.

Speaking at a weekly news conference Monday at which she promoted a state employee drive against hunger, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds argued there was no conflict between Branstad's veto last month of the food aid allocation and the food drive.

Reynolds, a Republican, says when government contributes money to food banks, people "kind of step back and think this need is not there to continue to help support the effort."

The Des Moines Register reports Iowa is among 12 states without a state food emergency allocation.

Branstad didn't attend the news conference.

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