Iowa food banks brace for impacts of Gov. shutdown

Already strained Iowa-based food banks are expecting an increase in visitors because of the impending government shutdown.
With the potential of a government shut down starting this weekend, food banks across the state are preparing.
Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 7:13 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - With the impending government shutdown, food banks across Iowa are preparing for an increase in visits while already having a shortage in supply.

“Right now the food pantries need more food than we’re able to find,” Allison Gnade, Table to Table manager, said.

During a government shutdown, support provided through either SNAP or Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) programs go unfunded, leaving already struggling families without a safety net.

With the relinquishment of COVID pandemic support funds and rising inflation rates seen over the summer, Iowan food banks have been seeing an increase in visitors, a figure that will only increase without food security benefits.

“This year we’ve already seen a 20% increase in families served, a 50% increase in visits to the pantry and we’ve distributed 40% more food than last year,” Ryan Bobst, North Liberty Community Pantry Executive Director, said.

Food banks rely on donations from the community to provide for those who are in need, the longer the shutdown lasts the less food they will be able to contribute.

”We absolutely need help from the community to meet that demand that’s coming,” Bobst said.

Officials say under the shutdown, families using federal food security programs could run out of funds as early as next week, as those payments stop during a shutdown.