Food Banks in Iowa Are Feeling the Pressure of Inflation.

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MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) – Food pantries across Iowa are noticing an increase in the number of families seeking assistance.

“I attempted to set up our pantry so they could make a couple meals,” said Derice Aragon, a caseworker with the Marshalltown Salvation Army.

Her work includes keeping “Sal’s Cupboard,” as the pantry is known, filled. But lately, that’s been difficult.

“We were giving away more food, so we couldn’t keep up with the demand of the people who came,” Aragon explained. “We depleted our entire beef supply.”

The pantry normally serves roughly 200 houses per month, but the Salvation Army assisted 33% more people in February. Aragon believes that inflation is a contributing factor to the problem.

 

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“It comes down to either getting food or paying their bills,” she explained.

The problem affects Iowans all around the state.

“One out of every ten Iowans is food insecure,” Michelle Book, president and CEO of Food Bank of Iowa, stated. “The Food Bank of Iowa is obviously concerned.”

Other variables, according to Book, could drive up demand even more.

“SNAP benefits will be reduced on April 1st,” she explained.

According to the Iowa Department of Human Services, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program payouts will be reduced by $95 to $230 per household.

However, according to Book, there is some good news.

“The Food Bank of Iowa keeps a fairly large inventory.” We have enough of meat, eggs, and cheese, and we always aim to keep canned proteins on hand,” she explained.

 

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Aragon is likewise making preparations. According to Food Bank of Iowa, the recent order from the Salvation Army of Marshalltown is 50 percent larger than usual.

“We don’t turn anyone away, and we encourage people to use our food pantry because that’s what it’s there for,” Aragon explained. “All we have to do is try to organise ahead of time to ensure that we have enough to supply the people.”

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