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USDA: Food Budgets Fall Short for 12 Percent of Iowans

PHOTO: bag of groceries. Photo credit: Deborah Smith

PHOTO: bag of groceries. Photo credit: Deborah Smith
September 7, 2012

DES MOINES, Iowa - Food insecurity is taking up more table space in Iowa. The USDA has released new statistics on how many families have a tough time providing regular nutritious meals.

Close to 12 percent of Iowans are in that situation, a percentage that has been creeping up since 2006. The data comes at the same time as a new poll from the Food Research and Action Center that finds three-quarters of Americans don't want to see food stamp funding cut. FRAC president Jim Weill points out there are bills in the U.S. House and Senate to cut billions of dollars from food stamps.

"American families know what the food stamp program is and what it does. And sometimes, the people who are attacking it, using false images of it, don't realize how many of their constituents are on the program."

Weill says half of all children in America are on food stamps at some point in their young lives.

Jordon Vernoy, head of the Iowa Food Bank Association, says that in Iowa much of the food insecurity comes from an inability to have access to food because many rural grocery stores have closed.

"It's because of what we call 'food deserts' or locations where it's really hard for people to get to food without having a lot of transportation costs."

Poll results are at frac.org.

Richard Alan, Public News Service - IA