Together We Can
January marks the beginning of another Iowa Legislative Session. This also brings opportunities to speak up for the 389,730 hungry children, adults, and seniors living right here in our state. Governor Branstad assured the state that “together we can” in his Condition of the State address on January 13th. He stated that by “working together we can find a solution to any problem”. I say, “ABSOLUTELY!” Tackling hunger should be a public-private partnership. Now is the time for all of us to speak up on behalf of our friends and neighbors.
I invite you to join the Iowa Food Bank Association, Feeding America food banks serving Iowa, food pantries, advocates, and volunteers at the Iowa State Capitol for the 2015 Anti-Hunger Day on the Hill on January 28. We’ll be sharing stories, advocating for improved policy, and encouraging our legislators to vote in favor of anti-hunger legislation.
The Iowa Food Bank Association has two legislative priorities this session:
- Sales Tax Exemption for Food Banks – The Iowa Food Bank Association is requesting sales tax exemption for the eight Feeding America Food Banks that serve all 99 counties. An exemption from sales tax would allow food banks to allocate more funds for programs such as: food distribution, mobile food pantries, Kids Café, Backpack programs, elderly nutrition programs, and community and corporate gardening programs.
- State Food Purchase Program Appropriation – The Iowa Food Bank Association is requesting that Iowa join the 37 other states who received state support. A State Food Purchase Program Appropriation would allow food banks to purchase food for more than 1,000 emergency feeding organizations that serve all of Iowa’s 99 counties. An appropriation would immediately increase the amount of food distributed and reduce the devastating impact of hunger. A $1,000,000 appropriation would create 4,500,000 meals for Iowans.
Advocating on behalf of hungry Iowans is the best thing we can do. We not only need to share the stories of our struggling friends and neighbors, we also need to share the stories of success. Addressing hunger has a lasting impact on an individual’s health, a child’s education opportunity, and the state’s economy. This issue cannot be ignored if we all do our part. It’s time that our elected leaders understand that addressing hunger should be a public-private partnership. As Governor Branstad so enthusiastically said in his Address, “working together we can find a solution to any issue”. Let’s hold him to that.
Cory Berkenes, State Director
2015 Legislative Breakfast and Anti-Hunger Day On The Hill
Wednesday, January 28th
7:00-9:00 am Breakfast with Legislators in Rotunda
9:00am-1:00 pm Individual & Group Meetings with Legislators
An informational and training webinar will be held Thursday, January 22.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to register.