Proposed plan would limit SNAP benefits in Iowa

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 5:33 AM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) - A bill introduced in the Iowa House would limit who qualifies for food assistance and what foods they can buy.

Under the bill, HF 3, low-income, older, and disabled Iowans who rely on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits would not be able to buy things like fresh meat, white bread and sliced American cheese.

The House Republican-backed bill would limit SNAP users to only what’s allowed on the approved list for the Women, Infants and Children program.

Critics of the bill say that WIC is intended for new mothers, pregnant women and infants and WIC has antiquated and outdated dietary restrictions.

But the Republicans say the money could be better used elsewhere.

“It’s these entitlement programs. They’re the ones that are growing within the budget and are putting pressure on us being able to fund other priorities,” House Speaker Pat Grassley said.

“Iowans on SNAP would not be able to buy meat, flour, butter, cooking oil, frozen prepared food. It’s a huge list,” Iowa Hunger Coalition Chair Luke Elzinga said.

The bill would also reduce the income level Iowans need to qualify for the program

The proposal is currently being addressed in a subcommittee.