According to this Sioux City Journal article, Governor Terry Branstad vetoed the funding of $500,000 to Iowa food banks. This affects many of our local food banks including the Food Bank of Siouxland. The Food Bank of Siouxland anticipated receiving $37,500 of these funds. The governor states that the local food banks should be able to make up the money through private donations that are publicly endorsed. I'm sure there was sound logic behind the veto. But my heart aches for the agencies that were counting on this funding and now have to make up for it in other ways or even worse, decrease their services to the people they serve. $37,500 is a lot of money. I will not argue that fact. For some, it is their total household income. For others, it is an amount much larger than their household income that they can not comprehend. According to the Food Bank of Siouxland's most recent newsletter, $1 buys 13 pounds of food for food banks. I can't even imagine the amount of food that $37,500 would have bought for the food bank. But I do know that it is a lot. This veto comes at an unfortunate time for food banks because summer is the busiest time of year. This is due to school being out for the summer. Families need to feed their children 3 meals a day rather than 1 because the child does not receive the school breakfast and lunch. The amount of requests for food at the local food pantries increases as a result. I've mentioned before that as a child, I never had to go hungry. Our family was very fortunate. I can't imagine the feeling of not being able to feed my family or having to go to bed without supper because there wasn't food in the pantry. I'm asking you all to think about this the next time you're out grocery shopping or opening your cupboards to make supper. Please consider donating to your local food bank in any way you can. This may be picking up an extra box of cereal or pasta while at the grocery store. Or it maybe writing a check for as little as $5. Together we can help the food banks and Iowa's hungry.
Update: I took the issue to our Employee Committee at work and we decided to do a fundraiser for the Food Bank. Siouxland Community Health Center employees donated a total of $300! We still need to deliver the money but I know it will help.